The history of Africa's historical relationship with the rest of the Indian Ocean world is one of a vibrant exchange that included commodities, people, flora and fauna, ideas, technologies and disease. This connection with the rest of the Indian Ocean world, a macro-region running from Eastern Africa, through the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia to East Asia, was also one heavily influenced by environmental factors. In presenting this rich and varied history, Gwyn Campbell argues that human-environment interaction, more than great men, state formation, or imperial expansion, was the central dynamic in the history of the Indian Ocean world (IOW). Environmental factors, notably the monsoon system of winds and currents, helped lay the basis for the emergence of a sophisticated and durable IOW 'global economy' around 1,500 years before the so-called European 'Voyages of Discovery'. Through his focus on human-environment interaction as the dynamic factor underpinning historical developments, Campbell radically challenges Eurocentric paradigms, and lays the foundations for a new interpretation of IOW history.
Africa and the Indian Ocean World from Early Times to Circa 1900
1. Introduction; 2. Africa in the making of an IOW global economy; 3. Indian Ocean Africa in the first great upswing in the Indian Ocean world global economy, 300 BCE to 300 CE; 4. Economic instability, c.300 to 900 CE; 5. The second great boom in the IOW global economy c.850 to 1250 and its Impact in Northern IOA; 6. Southern IOA and the second upsurge in the IOW global economy; 7. Uncertainties and European intrusion: the IOW global economy, 1300 to 1830; 8. The European impact in Indian Ocean Africa, 1500 to 1830; 9. The international economy and Indian Ocean Africa; 10. Indigenous modernisation in Indian Ocean Africa: Egypt, Imerina, and Ethiopia; 11. The scramble for Indian Ocean Africa; 12. Africa and slavery in the Indian Ocean world.