A political party is an association of persons whose major aim is acquiring state power.
Political parties in East Africa included the Kenya African National Union (KANU), Kenya African Democratic Union (KADU) Tanganyika African National Union (TANU), Uganda National Congress (UNC), Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC) etc.
Most of these parties were formed and dominated by the educated Africans.
They begun with limited and local complaints against colonial rule but soon grew and become national in outlook.
They were formed to fight for the independence of their respective countries.
They also aimed at demanding for greater African representation on the Legislative councils.
They wanted the extension of the voting franchise to the Africans since they (Africans) had been denied the right to vote.
The influence of the rise of Pan Africanism also drove Africans to form political parties. This was because they wanted to rule themselves.
They were also formed as a result of colonial rule with all its evils like loss of land, forced labour, forced cash crop growing etc.
They were also formed to fight against European exploitation of African resources like land labour and minerals.
The influence of the Second World War was also a factor in the formation of these parties. Africans who fought in the war came back with the zeal to liberate their fellow Africans.
They were also formed to fight for the release of imprisoned African nationalists like KANU that was formed partly 'to press for the release of Kenyatta
They were formed to act as vehicles (platforms or mouthpiece) for airing out African discontent against
The high levels of poverty and unemployment also forced ex servicemen to form political parries for example General China in Kenya.
The rise of African nationalism in the late 19th century was also manifested in the formation of mass political parties.
They were also formed to fight the discriminatory tendencies of the whites. For example in education, health and employment.
They were also demanding the removal of restrictions on the cultivation of cash. trade. free movement etc.