oa East African Geographical Review - The population geography of East Africa

Volume 1963, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1937-6812



From time immemorial there have been population movements, mainly from the north, along the open routeways of East Africa; and it is out of these movements and the various cross-currents associated with them that the present distribution of ethnic groups among the African population has emerged. The eastern and western rift highlands, in particular, seem to have been veritable lands of promise, especially to pastoralists, and to have encouraged the southward migration of immigrant groups. From another, related point of view it is possible to think of East Africa as a zone in which the Hamitic and the Negro worlds show a deep interpenetration. Racially and culturally the East African population thus presents a very considerable variety. Biologically the population is more varied than, for example, that of Western Europe; and it is everywhere permeated by Hamitic influences.

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