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Imperialism | Colonial Policy


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

(p.16) On the same day as for Togo, that is on June 16th 1904, Reichstag has approved the construction of the railway in the German-East African protectorate, which insiders since over 10 years ago regard as urgently required to economically open up the colony. For the time being only the funds for the 225 km long stretch. from Daressalam to Morogoro have been provided; the Reich guaranteed the newly formed East Afrikan Reilway Company annual interests of 3 % on their capital of 22 million Mark and warrants to pay 20 % over the face value of the shares sold and stamped-as-such, so that amortization will be accomplished in 87 years. As in Togo, a gauge width of at least 1 m has been prescribed. Preparations for construction have begun in 1904. According to a credible report, Morogoro will be reached within three years.
On the Usambara-Eisenbahn service on the 84 km long stretch Tanga-Korogwe has seen no interruption. The reduction of the tariffs, especially for the country's products, has been the right step, in every way. The tariff lowering has given the incentive to the establishment of a number of agricultural and industrial enterprises, especially of Agava plantations and hemp factories, along the entire railway line. The railway's revenues did not suffer from the tariff reduction.
For the time being the railway has been continued until Mombo on the western foot of the Usambara mountains. Government complains about the low budget for road construction; despite of this, it has continued to draw the road Kilwa-Wiedhafen. Work on the large road connecting Lake Nyasa and Lake Tanganyika have also been continued. At the request of the Colonial Department, Governor Graf von Götzen gave a report last year, of which we quote the following : All new roads and streets in Ostafrika follow the negro paths, a network of which covers the entire country. In order to guarantee better communication between the stations, steps have been undertaken to prevent them from overgrowing. This work is done by the indigenous. They also, instructed by supervisors (mostly NCOs) have constructed bridges and have, as laymen, made accomplishments which demand respect. So today all stations are connected with each other by roads, which are passable for pedestrians and riders during the dry season, which however frequently are destroyed during the rainy season. The expenses have been paid from the stations maintenance fund, as there was no separate road fund.
Things have improved a little since the budget plan provides a one-time fund for road construction. But roads which shall last longer than one strong rainy season and which shall continue to serve in the wet months rarely can be constructed for less than 7,000 to 10,000 Mark per kilometer. Roads passable for wagons presently exist only from Daressalam in the direction of Morogoro for about 60 km, as well as for short distances around the larger ports and stations of the interior. Notwithstanding, on the remaining roads, in certain seasons every now and then (p.17) a wagon may pass. A Boer would regard a road as passable, which a settler, depending on a negro, incredibly clumsy in the treatment of animals, regards impassable. The governor comes to the conclusion, that regarding the large amount of precipitation and the consequent lush grow of vegetation roads, in order to prevent obergrowth, have to be constructed as solid as in Europe; road construction therefore will be costly. Because of the danger of infectious animal diseases and the lack of skill of the indigenous when it comes to deal with draught animals, Graf von Gotzen thinks it proper to build every road with automobile traffic in mind.
During the entire year 1904, the protectorate has not seen unrest of any kind. Singular acts of insubordination by the indigenous, of course, are always to be registered. This peaceful year culminated on August 3rd and 4th, when the first agricultural exhibition took place in Daressalam. As the wvent was supported by a reduction of transportation fees and special steamers had been scheduled, c. 500 Europeans had come from all parts of the colony, and from Zanzibar and British East Africa, as well as thousands of Arabs and Indians. The diversity of the exhibited items illustrated the diversity of Deutsch-Ostafrika's production. We mention grain, begetables, oil plant fruits, coffee, vanilla, pepper etc., industrial plants (cotton, caoutchouc, capoc etc.), useful minerals, cattle, animal products as well as products of industry and many more.
Agricultural effort focusses on cotton. During the exhibition days a cotton conference took place which was frequented by numerous participants. In 1903 9,300 kg of cotton were exported at a value of 7,300 Mark. A number of plantation owners in Daressalam, Tanga, Wilhelmstal, Lindi, Ssongea, Muansa etc. undertook experiments in the plantation of cotton. The instruction of the indigenous in the cultivation of cotton can proceed only slowly. Mainly they are employed as workers on community fields and on privately owned fields. Only in the Muansa District, a private businessman succeeded in instructing the inhabitants of an entire region in the cultivation of cotton. Government has passed a number of decrees to protect cotton cultivation. Cotton seed may only be imported Tanga and has to be immediately examined by the biological-agricultural institute at Amani. American cotton seed, because it often contains parasites, is banned from import. If a planter discovers parasites or suspects them, he has to send a probe to the institute in Amani. If the cotton capsule beetle appears, the plantation will be destroyed by fire, and in the area, for the next 20 years, cotton may not be grown. In 1904, the area under cotton cultivation has grown fivefold, so that a corresponding expansion of the harvest is expected.
East African cotton is hardly inferior to Egyptian. It is of excellent character and staple, is pure and only a little rougher than Joanowich.
In consequence of rich precipitation, the caoutchouc harvest has increased by 80,000 kg or a value of 0.75 million Mark over that of 1902. In order to maintain and extend caoutchouc production steps have been undertaken to protect the colony's forests. Ivory is constantly receding. Copra production, on the other hand, increases constantly. Only a few new coffee plantations have been established in Usambara; more attention was given to fibre plants. A number of new sisal hemp plantations emerged, mostly near Tanga. The Hamburg Chamber of Commerce commented favourably on Ostafrika's agava and sisal harvest.
In Usambara a number of saw mills have been established, which exploit the forest and serve local demand.
The biological-agricultural institute at Amani serves as a model institute for all efforts in economic civilization. It supports private persons in agricultural experiments, gives advice upon request and distributes seeds, plants and cuttings at low prices.
Regarding trade we only have figures for 1903; they justify optimistic hopes. The protectorate's exports rose by almost 1.5 million Mark, imports just under 2 million Marks. Imports at the coastal ports were about the same level as those of last year. Complaints are raised about the influence of the Uganda Railroad on Deutsch-Ostafrika's trade. Regarding the increased export, caoutchouc takes first place, the increase amounting to over 0.75 million Mark. Sisal hemp, coffee, ores and minerals also saw increased exports.
In the coastal areas, a lot of construction is going on; especially private construction is on the increase. To be mentioned are the expansion of the Lienhardt-Sanatorium (p.18) in Wugiri, which was completed on October 1st 1904 and was opened.
In the economy we note with satisfaction, that the planters, more and more, form organizations.
In 1904 the currency question, long expected, has found a solution; German silver rupees have been minted. There are pieces of 2, 1, 1/2 and 1/4 Rupee in silver, as well as copper coins of 1/100 Rupee (1 Heller) and 1/200 Rupee (1/2 Heller). The silver coins feature a portrait of the Kaiser. The use of Indian rupees in the colony is estimated at 5-6 million rupees. The Deutsch-Ostafrikanische Gesellschaft has had 3 1/2 million rupees, based on its mint privilege. In order to regulate currency and to stabilize the value of the ruppee in the protectorate, a Deutsch-Afrikanische Bank has been established, which is entitled to issue banknotes.

Colonial Literature of 1904 (Main Titles)

Kandt, R., Caput Nili. (Capital of Nothing), Berlin 1904. Dietrich Reimer (Ernst Vohsen). bound 8 M.

Karte von Deutsch-Ostafrika (map of Deutsch-Ostafrika) 1 : 300 000. Section G. 4. H. 4. Ssonega 2 M. G. 5. H. 5. Mittlerer Rowuma (middle Rowuma). Berlin 1904. Dietrich Reimer (Ernst Vohsen). 2 M.

Grosser Deutscher Kolonialatlas. (Large German Colonial Atlas) edited by Paul Sprigade and Max Moisel. Deutsch-Ostafrika 1 : 100 000. Sections Kilimatinde and Neu - Langenburg. Berlin 1904. Dietrich Reimer (Ernst Vohsen). a 1 M.

Leue, A., Die Besiedelungsfähigkeit Deutsch-Ostafrikas. (The suitability of Deutsch-Ostafrika for settlement), Leipzig 1904. W. Weicher. 1 M.

Merker, M., Die Masai. (The Massai) Berlin 1904. Dietrich Reimer (Ernst Vohsen). bound 8 M.

Prince, Magdalene, Eine deutsche Frau im Innern Deutsch-Ostafrikas. (A German woman in Deutsch-Ostafrika's interior), 2. ed. Berlin 1905. E. S. Mittler & Sohn. 3,50 M.

Schillings, C. G., Mit Blitzlicht und Buchse. Neue Beobachtungen und Erlebnisse in der Wildnis, inmitten der Tierwelt von Aequatorial-Ostafrika. (With flashlight and rifle. New observations and adventures in the wilderness, inmidst Equatorial East Africa's fauna) Leipzig 1904. R. Voigtlander. bound 14 M.

Spahn, Peter, Die Deutsch-Ostafrikabahn. (The German East African railroad) separate print from "Hochland", Monatsschrift für alle Gebiete des Wissens, der Literatur und der Kunst (monthly for all areas of science, literature and the arts). 1903/04. number 5 and 6.

Velten, Prof. Dr. C., Praktische Suaheli - Grammatik nebst Worterverzeichnis (Practical grammar of Suaheli with word list) . Berlin 1904. W. Baensch. bound 3,50 M.


Source: Deutscher Kolonial-Atlas mit Jahrbuch (Atlas German Colonies with Yearbook), edited by the Deutsche Kolonialgesellschaft (German Colonial Society). Berlin 1905, p.16f

GM (digitalisation) and AG (translation) 
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Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin / Preußischer Kulturbesitz 

Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz


Dokument in deutscher Sprache