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Imperialism | Colonial Policy

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Deutscher Kolonial-Atlas mit Jahrbuch, edited by the German Colonial Society, 1905
Retrospect on Kamerun's Development in 1904

(p. 9) Kamerun has seen a local revolt in 1904, which, according to the latest reports, seems to have ended. On January 17th 1904 the district chief of Ossidinge, Count von Puckler, has been murdered by the Bascho men, as well as merchant Kuster by the indigenous people of the (p. 10) Grossfluss (1) area. In the rebellious area, martial law has been declared and a punishing expedition sent out, which has pacified the area. The rebellious tribes have placed the quotas of workers, given to them as punishment, at our disposal.
At the beginning of 1904 a second expedition had been sent out against individual Ndsimu chiefs in southern Kamerun, which, 100 men strong, under leadership of Lieutenant Scheunemann, fulfilled their task in a few weeks, and which simultaneously forced a few tribes related to the Ndsimu or adjacent to them to recognize German sovereignty. In this partially unexplored region, rich in Caoutchouk, the seat of administration was moved from the border further into the interior, on the upper Dscha. At the beginning of August, Lt. Scheunemann, in order to organize the move, returned into the Ngoko area with the necessary number of selected men.
On September 16th Major Thierry, resident in the Garua District, had been killed near Mubi by an arrow. To the report on his death the comment was added that politically the situation had been calm. This was later confirmed.
Otherwise peace has ruled in Kamerun, and numerous peaceful undertakings have partially been completed. At first the German-British border expedition lead by Major Glauning is mentioned, which was active between Yola and Lake Chad. Its results have not been published yet. The results of the Niger-Benue=Lake Chad expedition, which has been active in the same area, have been published; its leader Fritz Bauer reports in a publication edited by Dietrich Reimer.
Negotiations with France are underway regarding the results of the surveying works of the South Kamerun border expeditoon, lead by Major Engelhardt, which at the end of 1903 had reached Duala via Kribi, Jaunde and Bertua. 
Governor von Puttkamer, who had been on vacation in Germany since late summer 1904, had undertaken a journey into the Lake Chad area from end 1903 to early in 1904. He believes that the main value of this area lies in ist innumerable herds of cattle, often 1,000 heads strong or more, and in horse breeding, especially at Madagali and Marua.
The census undertaken on January 1st 1904 established 710 whites, 40 more than in the previous year, among them 638 adult men, 52 more than in theprevious year. On the other hand, the number of asult women decresed by 5 to 53, the number of children by 7 to 19. Of the white population, 612 (i.e. 51 more than in the previous year) are Germans. The number of merchants and traders has increased by 36 to 223. The second rank is filled by the planters, 103 in number. 93 government officials, 85 dependents of the Schutztruppe, 85 priests and missionaries follow. Of the 638 adult men, 53 are married, 34 live with their women. Regarding the indigenous population, considerable shifts take place, especially in the protectorate's south and southeast. In the Benue district the Bakwiri have been count.
Agriculture : oil palm kernels, palm oil, rubber, cocoa and ivory continue to be the land's most important products. Coffee and tobacco have ceded to be among the country's export products in 1904. On the other hand, the cultivation of the Kola nut seems to develop. In order to counteract the overcropping of the caoutchouc resources, examinations have been undertaken and new cultures are planned. The banana is planted in-between years when cocoa is planted; the banana fruits provide cheap, wholesome nutrition for the plantation workers. Except for a few areas located on the northeast of Mt. Kamerun, where the cocoa has suffered, during the time of its debelopment, from continuous downpour, in general the harvest was very good. Also, the indigenous cultivation makes progress. The administration takes effort in instructing the indigenous in these matters. Some stations in the interior have made themselves independent of the costly import of food from the coast by establishing farms for their soldiers and workers. Planted are bananas, cocoa, makobo, cassada, also rice, maize and peanuts.
After his vacation, Dr. Strunk again has assumed the administration of the botanical garden in Victoria. The garden has developed satisfactorily. In the beginning of 1904 the establishment of a highland station was prepared, at an altitude of c. 600 m on Mt. Kamerun. In the experimental garden Buea good results have been achieved with tea. All stations in the interior, at government suggestion, have begun to establish experimental gardens and fruit plantations, where mainly mango, oranges and pineapples are grown. In Victoria, school children are instructed in agriculture. In the area of cattle breeding, also, small successes have been achieved. In Kamerun, even more than before, cocoa takes the first place (Germany alone imported in 1903 raw cocoa beans for 26 million Mark). The cocoa production is far insufficient (p.11) to answer the German demand, as Germany in 1903 rose to the top of the cocoa consuming countries. It has to be mentioned, that the quality of Kamerun cocoa is first-rate.
Minerals : of value for the protectorate should be the oil field discovered near Duala; their oil has been described by scientists as excellent. The location of the oil field in immediate proximity to the navigable Wuri is rather favourable. The Kamerun-Bergwerks-Aktiengesellschaft (Kamerun Mining Corporation) has already formed a body to continue the examination. At the
border to Nigeria large tin deposits have been found. Unfortunately it could not yet be established if working the field is profitable.
Trade : in the Edea district the trade by Sanaga middlemen has been forbidden, which has benefitted the immediate sales od the european merchant houses to the indigenous. The factory's middlemen use the services of often individual bushmen as sub-middlemen, by giving them larger amounts of barter goods in oder to exchange them for products of the land. Often, these sub-middlemen betray the middlemen and by doing so also the factories; often, the middlemen themselves embezzle and try to cover their dishonesty by accusations against the bushmen, serving them as buyers.
Further in the interior of the protectorate the trade is almost completely in the hands of the Haussa. By and large it still has the form of barter trade. The merchants strongly oppose the government's effort to promote the use of money. Trade progresses further and further into the interior, which has caused the alteration of caravan routes at a number of places.
Traffic routes : unfortunately, comfortable trade routes still lack on the coast, despite the fact that the road network has been expanded and improved. The extension of the road Sopo-Moliko-Meanja-Johann Albrechtshöhe and of another road Duala-Mundame-Johann Albrechtshöhe has been begun. On the road Victoria-Kriegsschiffhafen the ramshackle wooden bridges have been replaced by modern concrete bridges. Further, the construction of a passable road through the deep and wide Deido canyon has been begun. The main road from Bonako continues about 6 km beyond the canyon. In the southern district, in early 1904 the drawing and construction of the main road Kribi-Bipindi has been begun; its completion is to be expected soon. Likewise, Lolodorf and Ebolwoa have been connected by a passable road. The port administration at Duala has surveyed the Kamerun River from its mouth to the point at Hickory Top.
The lowering of telegram fees are of great importance to the Kamerun protectorate. The fee, which amounted to 6.70 M per word since July 1st 1902, has been reduced to 5.30 M on July 1st 1904. Telegraph service has been extended into the interior until Jabassi, the main place for palm kernels, in the Bassa region. The establishment of new postal agencies and of necessary connections are in preparation in Kamerun. Presently connected by telephone are the places Victoria, Buea, Duala and Edea.
Schooling : the government schools in Duala and Victoria registered such a resonance on the side of the indigenous, that the original plan to close down the school in Duala, at the German Colonial Society's warning, was scrapped. In both schools the number of classes has been increased. At certain places, on their own initiative chiefs have established schools, headed by former students of government schools.


Colonial Literature of 1904. (main titles)

Bauer Fritz, Die deutsche Niger-Benue-Tsadsee-Expedition 1902-1903. (The
German Niger-Benue-Lake Chad Expedition 1902-1903), Berlin 1904. Dietrich 
Reimer (Ernst Vohsen). Geb. 4 M.

Beiträge zur Geologie von Kamerun von Dr. Ernst Esch. Dr. F. Solger, Dr. H. Oppenheim, Prof Dr. O. Jaechel. (Contributions to the Geology of Kamerun by Dr. Ernst Esch. Dr. F. Solger, Dr. H. Oppenheim, Prof Dr. O. Jaechel), Stuttgart 1904. E. Schweitzerhart (E. Nägele). paperback 81 M.



 


Source: Deutscher Kolonial-Atlas mit Jahrbuch (Atlas German Colonies with Yearbook), edited by the Deutsche Kolonialgesellschaft (German Colonial Society). Berlin 1905, p.9ff.

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