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Imperialism | Colonial Policy


Atlas German Colonies, with Yearbook, edited by the German Colonial Society, 1906, Retrospect on Togo's Development in 1905
Retrospect on Togo's Development in 1905

(p.8) In Mai the Imperial senior executive officer and chancellor with the government of Togo, Julius Graf v. Zech auf Neuhofen, has been appointed governor of Togo. The appointment has been vividly applauded in the protectorate.
Our relation with the indigenous, which in Togo are on a high cultural level, also in 1905 was good. Peace has not been disturbed, if we do not take into account small insubordinations, such as the war between two regions which broke out in the hinterland and which had to be pacified by force.
Unexpectedly an epidemicdisease appeared in the first half of the year in Anecho; doctors identified it as yellow fever which had been brought into the country from places in neighbouring Dahomey. By complete isolation of Anecho, the infection of other regions of the protectorate was prevented, and by early July the epidemic could be regarded as extinguished. Effort is continualy invested to improve the health conditions of Lome; a health commission convened to discuss measures to improve the samitary conditions of the place now having about 6000 inhabitants. All in all the health condition of the protectorate's white inhabitants was good; especially malaria infections declined and continue to decline. The sleeping sickness also may be regarded, after the death of the last, isolated patients, as extinguished. Injections against smallpox have been given on a large scale to the indigenous in the report year.
The year 1905, as the two previous years, has been extraordinarily dry. Especially the so-called small rainy season did not bring any precipitation. Of course, this was not without impact on the economy. Accordingly the report year's cotton harvest did not quite meet expectations. Still, an increase in exports could be registered. Not less in the areas of caoutchouc, cocoa and maize, the cultivation of which brings rich crops, with little investment of labour and toil. Both european enterprises and the indigenous population contribute to the expansion of economic life. The latter is important, because the coloured population makes up the main production element in the protectorate. But the agricultural tools used by the indigenous are imperfect and their cultuvating methods in most cases unprofitable; the plough is hardly known, as is the use of natural fertilizer.
Hee change can be achieved by practical education and instruction, thus the government plans to establish an agricultural school, where the young indigenous can be instructed in rational techniques regarding the cultivation of oil palms, cotton, maize, peanuts, beans, rice, sorghum, panisetum-millet, yams, cassava and others, in the use of the plough, of fertilizers and of rational crop rotation. A commission has convened, consisting of a representative of government, a representative of the Deutsche Togogesellschaft and a missionary, in order to examine if in those areas, where the Deutsche Togogesellschaft owns land, sufficient land is left for the indigenous to make a living. The commission has achieved a satisfactory arrangement in the case of the lands of the aforementioned Gesellschaft at the Agu.
The trading houses continue to open up branch shops further and further inland. Palime, which is eyed as the terminal of the railway line currently under construction, develops more and more into an important market. In Atakpame, Kete Kratji and in the larger markets on the Mono, trade more and more is taken over by European trading houses. Further to the north, as before, the Muslim trader is middleman between the trading houses and customers. In the interior, the cowry shell is continually used as currency. 
As there is a demand for low-value coins, now the German 1 Pfennig coins are imported in larger quantity, hopefully to replace the cowry shell soon.
The English coin circulating in the protectorate is excepted by public booking-offices, but not returned into circulation. Instead it is collected and handed over to the bank in the British Gold Coast Colony.
The pier has excellently stood the test, and traffic has developed rather positively. On 172 days of use (partially the last months of 1904 included) 8300 t and 6600 cubic metres were transported, of which only a very small fraction was lost, while during offshore loading and off-loading, on average, minimum 5 % of the cargo had been lost and a very large percentage had been damaged by sea water.
The coastal railway, which developed a popular person transport even while under construction, was handed over to the public on July 18th. 
(p.9) On August 27th the first 28 km of the Inland Railway, until Noëpe station, were opened. It is hoped that the entire line will be completed until early in 1907.
The construction of roads goes hand in hand with the construction of railways. Works on a larger scale were undertaken on the stretch Lome-Atakpame. Further, a cable bridge on 24 m roadway width was constructed crossing the Schio and, immediately following, an over 1 km long, 2 m high dam on the latter's mead. Also, construction of a cable bridge of 30 m span width across the Haho River was begun, and the 200 m long bridge across the Sebe Lagoon was completely reconstructed. In order to make the cotton cultivation in the Ho region effective, a road has been constructed from Ho via Batoe-Batome to Assahun, which could be opened for traffic at the end of September last year. Rivers have preliminarilt been bridged by wood, later to be replaced by more durable installations. Assahun later will become a station on the Lome-Palime Railway. In September, a waggon loaded with cotton has covered the distance via Asahun to Noege, which is the current enf od the railway line, in three days.
We may invest certain hopes in the protectorate's mineral deposits. District geologist Dr. Koert has undertaken geological research expeditions, on behalf of the government, in the report year. They mainly dealt with the iron ore deposit at Banyeli, described by Hupfeld. According to the district geologist's cautious estimate, about 20 million tons of iron ore can be extracted in open-cast mining. In addition, ore of satisfactory condition is found to the west of Banyeli. The expedition resulted in indications of further utilizable deposits : first, in the Lamatischi Mountains large blocks of magnetic iron stone containing titanium, 2. graphite deposits where the Kerang River cuts through the Ssolo Mountains, and third, near Sokode a quartz seam including galena spots, sulphure and copper pebbles.
The Togo Chamber of Commerce has been dissolved, because of dissatisfactory participation. In its place, the Union of Lome Merchants was formed.
The protectorate has been visited by 7 Reichstag members in the last week of August. They were impressed by the economic value of Togoland and the efficacy of the German colonisation, and they expressed this repeatedly in their reports. They were : Dr. Arendt, v. Bohlendorff-Kolpin, Dr. Goller, Hagemann, Freiherr v. Richthofen-Damsdorf, Dr. Semler, Chr. Storz. Invitations to the reconnaissance tour had been given by his highness Herzog Johann Albrecht zu Mecklenburg and followed plans long considered.
The men departed from Hamburg on August 9th on the "Eleonore Wörmann" and, after short stops at Southampton, Teneriffa and Las Palmas first set foot on African soil in Monrovia. Then they stopped at Axim, Sekondi, Cape Coast Castle, Accra and spent some time at Lome. The Reichstag members were present when the Inland Railway stretch was opened, via Coastal Railway they visited Anecho and the Kpeme Plantation and took a good look at Lome, then they continued they tour to Kamerun, up to Edea. After a thorough inspection of all enterprises and installations, they returned via Lagos. They arrived in Hamburg on September 30th and could join the German Colonial Congress of 1905 on October 5th.

Colonial Literature of 1905. (main titles)

Ew'egbe-'gbalé-hehlé na Gomedzelawo. Fible, edition for Deutsch-Togo. Verl. d. Nordd. Miss-Gesell., Bremen 1905.

Storz, Chr., Reisebriefe aus Westafrika u. Beitrage zur Entwicklung der deutschen Kolonien in Togo und Kamerun. (travel letters from West Africa and contributions to the development of Germany's colonies in Togo and Kamerun) 
edited by v. J. Hess, Stuttgart 1906. 0.50 M.

Togo und Kamerun. Eindrucke und Momentaufnahmen. Von einem deutschen Abgeordneten, (Impressions and snapshots by a German member of Reichstag) m.K. W. Weicher, Leipzig 1905. 2.80.


Source: Deutscher Kolonial-Atlas mit Jahrbuch (Atlas German Colonies with Yearbook), edited by the Deutsche Kolonialgesellschaft (German Colonial Society). Berlin 1906, p.8f

GM (digitalisation) and AG (translation) 
posted on the web for psm-data; many thanks to

Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin / Preußischer Kulturbesitz 

Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz


Dokument in deutscher Sprache