Indian Shop Keepers Helped Build Eastern Africa


MOMBASA, KENYA, May 16, 2014 (Coastweek): The pioneering Indian Dukawalla or shopkeeper introduced the use of money to buy goods in Eastern Africa. Thus he launched the monetary economy in this part of the world, writes Kul Bhushan. The Duka, derived from the Hindustani word Dukan, was set up in the remote locations after the British built the Uganda Railway at the end of the 19the century.

Housed behind the Duka, the hardy Dukawalla faced wild animals at night, hot sun during the day and isolation from his relatives and friends but he persisted and survived. Over time, he built a stone structure and then enlarged the building as his business flourished. More traders came and the sole Duka multiplied into many more and their location became a mini-township with administrative services moving in.

All over Eastern Africa, these Duka’s can still be seen in isolated locations and observe them as foundations of every town and city as the bazaar created by these Dukas. The Dukawala’s have, in no small measure, played an important role, in the economic growth of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania: and also Zambia and Malawi. The story of Dukawalla is the heroic story of hard work, persistence and survival against massive odds.

More of this interesting history at source.

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