Access to information and communications technologies is becoming increasingly critical for African community's participation in economic and political life at national, international and global levels. Advances in electronic communication networks have created enormous opportunities for developing countries. A sizable number of African countries have already made progress in their Internet links that have put them on the global connectivity roadmap.
Sri Lanka and the Maldives Pakistan Many of the Africans brought into the Indian subcontinent entered through the ports of Baluchistan and Sindh, where they worked as dockworkers, horse-keepers, domestic servants, agricultural workers, nurses, palanquin carriers and apprentices to blacksmiths and carpenters.
Females were in greater demand and were priced at around 50 pounds, while children were bartered for grain, cloth and other goods.
Much of the vocabulary used by the Afro-Sindhi descendants of these migrants is a modified Swahili. For instance, the word for shield in Swahili, ngao, is gao among the Afro-Sindhi; the word for moon or one month in Swahili, mwesi, is moesi in Afro-Sindhi.
Pakistan has the most people of African descent in South Asia.
It has been estimated that at least a quarter of the total population of the Makran coast is of African ancestry—that is, at leastpeople living on the southern coast of Pakistan, which overlaps with southeastern Iran, can claim East African descent.
Beginning in Oman traded more heavily with the Lamu archipelago on the Swahili coast and transported Africans to the Makran coast. As a result, today many Pakistani of African descent are referred to as Makrani, whether or not they live there. On the coast they are also variously referred to as dada, sheedi and syah all meaning blackor alternatively, gulam slave or naukar servant.
The children of Sindhi Muslim men and sidiyani female Africans are called gaddo—as in half-caste.
The population geneticist Lluis Quintana-Murci of the Pasteur Institute in Paris found that more than 40 percent of the maternal gene pool of the Makrani is of African origin. Outside the main shrine in Karachi, there is a pond with crocodiles that are served specially prepared food.
The crocodiles, which were venerated by Hindus before the advent of Islam and are also regarded with esteem by Africans, have become an integral part of the shrine.
Although the Sheedis no longer understand all the words of the songs they sing, they pass along this tradition to succeeding generations. Maritime activities on the Pakistani Makran coast influenced the music of Afro-Baluchis, many of whom were seafarers who maintained contacts with eastern and northeastern Africa through the middle of the 20th century.
There are distinct similarities between the Afro-Pakistani drumming and singing performances called laywa in the Makran and those called lewa in coastal Oman—songs consisting of Swahili words and references to both East Africa and the sea.
African ivory was the most sought-after commodity among Indian merchants; ivory was carried from the inland to the East African coast, where it was sold, loaded onto dhows, and transported to the ports of southern Arabia. From there they would continue across the Arabian Sea, stopping along the Makran coast, before continuing on to western India.
Given India's large population, its indigenous slaves, and a caste system among Hindus in which most labor-intensive tasks were traditionally performed by specific groups, African males were employed in very specialized jobs, almost always having to do with some aspect of security—as soldiers, palace guards, or personal bodyguards.
They were generally deemed more trustworthy than indigenous people to serve in those capacities, but in a number of cases Africans rebelled against their Muslim or Hindu rulers.
During the 15th and 16th centuries, African slave-soldiers seized power in the Bengal sultanate, parts of the Deccan, and the sultanate of Gujarat.
However, several centuries before these rebellions, an Abyssinian attained high rank in alliance with the female ruler of Delhi. In an Abyssinian named Jalal-ud-din Yakut served in the important imperial post of master of the royal stable, an honor conferred by the Delhi sultana Raziya.
In India, where Africans were known for their equestrian skills and their ability to tame wild horses, they served in the cavalry, unlike in the Middle East, where they were limited to service in the infantry.
Yakut, a skilled soldier and horseman, was also a political ally of Raziya during her fight for control of the throne. Raziya's father, the Turkish ruler Iltutmish, who had conquered much of northern India, had named her as his successor, but Raziya's brother opposed her.
She ruled for four years, before both she and Yakut were killed—on the run and in battle. A century later, the Moroccan jurist and explorer Ibn Battuta recorded that during his stay in India from to the governor of Allahpur north of Delhi was an African named Badr, technically enslaved to the Rajah of Dholpur.
In India as elsewhere in the Indian Ocean region, the category "slave" was much more elastic than in the Atlantic world, where enslaved Africans had far less opportunity for upward mobility under European colonial rule and in the new republics of the Americas.
Oral history recounted by Afro-Gujaratis mentions how their ancestors also served as bodyguards in the palaces of Hindu kings. The Mughals, a Muslim imperial power in northern India from the early 16th century through the early 19th, relied on African soldiers and sailors.
Inwhen the Mughal Emperor Akbar entered Gujarat, he was reportedly protected by armed Habshi on horseback.
African soldiers and sailors also received annual payment for defending Mughal subjects from piracy at sea and attacks on land. Between the 16th and 18th centuries a Habshi naval force was based in Surat, the principal port in Gujarat, and African sailors accompanied pilgrims to Mecca, offering protection on the high seas.
Such Habshi naval protection even predated Mughal rule. Ibn Battuta noted in the midth century the legendary bravery of Habshi soldiers and sailors. Ibn Battuta traveled with 50 Abyssinians on a ship to protect against pirate attacks; he called them "the guarantors of safety on the Indian Ocean.
Gujarati Siddis distinguish themselves from others in India by their strong Sufi practices, mostly centering on the African pir Bava Gor, the most revered Sufi among people of African descent in South Asia.
The African became the patron saint of the agate bead industry, having been credited for augmenting the trade in the quartz stone between East Africa, the Persian Gulf, and India.
Before arriving in India, Bava Gor spent time in Mecca and the area of Basra in lower Iraq, where he studied with Sufis of the Rifa'i order, who gave him the honorific title Baba Ghaur, meaning "master of deep meditation" in Arabic.Kiva is the world's first online lending platform connecting online lenders to entrepreneurs across the globe.
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