Asians in Africa

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People from, or with roots from, Asia live throughout Africa. Some came in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as indentured labour or coolies. For example, workers from the Indian subcontinent moved within the British Empire to build the railway linking Mombasa to Nairobi, thus laying the foundations for the colony of Kenya; many stayed at the end of their terms of contract, and form the basis of the Sikh and Ismaeli communities. Relations between Asians and the black majority have not always been easy; most notably, Idi Amin, dictator of Uganda, expelled all Indians in 1972. Other Asians came more recently to Africa as traders and professional workers especially in Mozambique with its huge flock of Indians. Indians in Mozambique have had a long history with their origins in Mozambique.

One possible exception is the Merina people of Madagascar. This dominant ethnic group is commonly accepted as indigenous to Madagascar, though they are likely descendants of Malay, Polynesian, Middle Eastern, and Northern African immigrations. For example, the Malagasy language is unrelated to nearby African languages, instead being the westernmost member of the Malayo-Polynesian branch of the Austronesian language family.

South Africa

The largest Asian population in Africa lies in South Africa, which holds over 1.2 million 'South Africa Indians' or 'Asians' brought over from the Indian subcontinent during the 19th and 20th century, most often by their own choice during...
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