The British cash crops urgently needed efficient transportation means and this need led to the construction of the Uganda Railway. By the 1890s, 32,000 laborers from British India were recruited to East Africa under indentured labour contracts to construct the Uganda Railway. Most of the surviving Indians returned home, but 6,724 decided to remain in East Africa after the line’s completion. Subsequently, some became traders and took control of the large scale farms, cotton ginning and sartorial retail.
All major cash crops introduced in Uganda by the British like cotton, coffee, tobacco, tea and minerals like copper were all transported from Uganda using the Uganda Railway. The railway network was also the all-important golden thread that wove the East African Community together to become economically codependent on each other.