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These Africans shamelessly played an active role in the transatlantic slave trade (1)

August 22, 2018 at 08:00 am | History

Ismail Akwei

Ismail Akwei | Head of Content

August 22, 2018 at 08:00 am | History

It has been established that the demand for slaves during the Transatlantic slave trade was fuelled by the availability of a supply chain which involved African rulers and tradesmen who made a fortune out of selling people.

Between 1525 and 1866, 12.5 million Africans were shipped to North America, the Caribbean and South America, according to the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database. Only about 10.7 million survived the dreadful journey under bondage in slave ships.

The slave trade contributed to the expansion of the most powerful West African kingdoms such as Mali and Ghana, as the business became one of the main sources of foreign exchange for many years.

Britain banned the slave trade in 1807 and the United States later abolished it in 1865. Brazil was the last to ban it in the Caribbean in 1888 marking the end of the barbarism inflicted on men, women and children of colour and their descendants.

There were recorded protests by West African chiefs and traders after the abolition of slave trade due to the loss of revenue. In West Africa, the slave traders were known as caboceers and they lived on the coast. They were usually appointed by the African rulers to deal directly with the European slave merchants. 

In the first of the two-part article, here are some notorious chiefs and caboceers who were actively involved in selling their own.

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