The colonial policies led to the growth of African nationalism in East Africa. Evils of colonialism such as forced labor, over taxation, land alienation, racial discrimination and forced growing of cash crops etc. made the people of East Africa hate the colonial masters.
Western education led to the rise and growth of African nationalism. The few Africans who went to schools like King’s college Budo acquired a common language – English. This made communication very easy between the nationalists of different races.
The Second World War also encouraged African nationalism. This war which started in 1939 and ended in 1945 trained some East Africans on how to use guns, exposed them to military weakness of the whites and also exposed Africans to ideas of democracy from American soldiers.
The rise of two new super powers in the world promoted African nationalism. USA and USSR started supporting political parties like UPC, TANU and KANU struggling for independence.
The formation of the United Nations in 1945 favored African nationalism. UNO put pressure on Britain to grant independence to Tanganyika, Uganda and finally to Kenya.
The Atlantic charter of 1941 helped nationalism in East Africa. W. Churchill (Britain) and F. Roosevelt (USA) called for the respect of people’s rights to choose a government of their will. This increased desire for independence in East Africa.
The 1945 Manchester Pan African conference helped African nationalism. Delegates including Nkrumah etc called for states to use all means to fight against colonialism.
The formation of political parties also encouraged nationalism in East Africa. Parties like KANU, KADU (KENYA) TANU (TZ) UNC UPC, DP, and KY (Uganda) mobilized the people in demanding for independence.
The Mau Mau uprising of 1952 – 56 in Kenya encouraged nationalism in East Africa. The courage of the Kikuyu and other fighters against the British had attracted more demand for independence even in Tanzania and Uganda.
The rise of able and charismatic leaders such as Jomo Kenyatta , Julius Nyerere, Milton Obote, Abu Mayanja and others. These led the masses in popular demonstrations and rallies demanding for independence
The development of the press
Emergence urban centers such as Kampala, Nairobi, Entebe etc.