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Imperialism | Colonial Policy


Atlas German Colonies, with Yearbook, edited by the German Colonial Society, 1907, Retrospect on the Development in 1906 of the Protectorate Deutsch-Ostafrika
Retrospect on the Development in 1906 of the Protectorate Deutsch-Ostafrika

The indigenous rebellion, which began at the end of July in 1905 in the Matumbi Mountains near Kilwa has not reached a larger and dangerous extension. There have been risings at several locations in the vast protectorate, and on our side energetic steps and the introduction of inforcements have been necessary. But with skill the spread of the rebellion to the warlike Wahehe and to Unyamwesi and Ussukuma could be prevented. The inhabitants of these regions have been kept in check by the news of our speedy and decisive successes. The prudent conduct of the respective station chiefs, who remained in regular contact with the natives and who showed to them how useless a participation in the rebellion would be, has not been without effect. After, at the end of the year, three ringleaders were captured and punished, the rebellion can be described as fully suppressed.
The rebellion of the natives has caused not inconsiderable changes, which we can not yet fully overlook. Of the nonindigenous coloureds (Indians and Arabs) many have moved out of the region affected by the rebellion. Unfortunately the unrest caused by the rebellion will cause a famine, because of lost harvests. It is to be hoped that this will lead to an increase of plantation workers along the coast.
In the last year, European enterprises continued to suffer from a lack of workers and carriers. The strong Wassukuma and Wanyamwesi found so profitable employment in agriculture in their own land, in the sale of their products and as carriers in the overland trade between Lake Victoria and the Congo Free State, that they came less frequently to the coast than they used to do; they had to be replaced by less useful elements. On the construction stretch of the Mrogoro railroad on average 4000 workers, at undertakings in the district of (p.19) Daressalam about 1500 workers and craftsmen were employed. It is easier to hire workers for earth works than for plantation work. The relation between employees and employers, on the railway construction site, was good, because of good wages and sufficient food; yet still a lack of labour was to be observed. The lack is worst in the European plantations of the northern districts. The indigenous population density is too low, the people try to avoid labour, so that the demand for labour is far from being met. Attempts have been undertaken to hire workers from the interior and bring them to Usambara. Opinions over the success of these attempts are divided.
Generally it has to be stated that the Bantu negro does not cultivate more than he needs to satisfy his own demands. The Wassukuma and Wanyamwesi prove a certain amount of mercantile spirit. When the Uganda railroad opened up their area, it was feared that in consequence of too hasty transactions of the values present there the land could be exploited and impoverished. Instead, without interference from the authorities, production in agriculture as well as in livestock has experienced a healthy increase.
The negro is accessible to instructions. The production of beeswax may serve as an example. The value of exports in 1905 amounted to over 1.25 million Marks. So far, in the process of gaining the wax, the blacks destroyed the bees. Lately they lay out primitive hives for swarming bees and use a more rational method of exploitation. Caoutchouc is characteristically produced by unrestricted, destructive exploitation. Of the 2.25 million Mark gained in exports, only a fraction was produced by plantations.
The extended plains of Deutsch-Ostafrika, as far as they are not settled by whites or natives, consist mainly of treeless grass steppe or of steppe with very few trees, in part of irregular bush forest, more or less open. Similar are most highlands, which show the character of frorestless pastures or such with little forest. Sometimes the open bushforest forms more or less extensive forest complexes. The piedmonts characteristically are bare of forest, while the mountain ridges and slopes are covered by high jungle-like forests. Such are found in the vicinity of the Usambara railroad, in large areas. In the last years the Schume Forest has repeatedly been mentioned, which has a large stock of cedars. The government has declared these areas forest reserves and has hired competent men to administrate their exploitation. Reasonable administration can open a rich source of revenue for the protectorate.
A remarkable success has been achieved with fibrous plants, despite the lack of labour. Today Mauritius hemp is planted only on a part of the area, Sisal hemp is dominating. In 1903 the protectorate exported 400,000 M. worth in hemp, 1904 : 700,000 M., 1905 : 1.1 million Mark. A continuous, well-funded progress. Attempts are underway to produce further fibers from banana plants and of the Sansivias, which grow wild in the protectorate's north; they are not yet systematically exploited.
A number of settlers in the Kilwa district and near Muansa, so it seems, has succeeded in the cultivation of cotton. It is to be regarded a fact that there are plenty excellent cotton soils in the colony, and that excellent cotton can be grown from Egyptian seed. The difficulty of the proportionate working of the soil and of irrigation are obstacles in the speedy development of this promising culture, which is energetically supported by the Colonial Economic Committee, the economic committee of the Deutsche Kolonialgesellschaft.
Progress has been made in the field of mining. In the gold concessions of the north (Irrangi, Usindja, Kissama etc.) large prospecting works have been undertaken, and a small number of small machines extracting gold from the quartz are operating. The production of mica in the Uluguru Mountains fortunately is expanding. Three entrepreneurs, on 21 claims, produced 60,000 kg of raw mica, of which about a third was produced as good merchandise. Rumours reporting the finding of pitchblend containing uranium have been verified, and an investigation has been started. The saltworks on the Mlagarassi resumed operation. It has suffered damage through an extraordinary inundation; yet all what was destroyed has been rebuild, in part larger than it was before.
Extraordinarily high precipitation has delayed the progress of the construction of the railway line Daressalam-Mrogoro, in addition to the shortage of labour already mentioned. But 32 km have already been opened to traffic, and construction railways go as far as 60 km. In connection with the construction of the railroad, in Daressalam on the northern (p.20) shore below the old customs facilities, construction of a quay has been begin, in order to improve the facilities to load and unload ships. So Daressalam will be better suited to handle freight traffic. Construction works for the new shipyard have been begun on Kurasini near Daressalam and should be completed within the next two years.
Because of the rebellion of the natives, no construction worthy to be mentioned has been undertaken on the stations along the coast and in the interior. In Daressalam a lack of housing is experienced. The government has constructed three houses as living quarters for officials. As expressed by official reports, this is far from sufficient. Private construction was vivid. The new hotel in Daressalam, sufficinng European standards, is to be mentioned. On the Ras-Kasone peninsula near Tanga a garden city has developed. The communities of Tanga, Pangani and Mrogoro have been active in road construction.
The reports on the activity of the government schools in Tanga, Pangani, Bagamoyo, Daressalam and Kilwa are all favourable. The first one, as the school in Daressalam, is combined wirg a school for craftsmen. There, instruction is given in carpentry, bookbinding, smithery, wood turning, and 59 natives are distributed almost evenly over the occupations. The craftsmen's school in Tanga is self-supporting. The carpenters' workshop produces mainly furniture, the raw material of which mostly originates from the colony. The printing workshop prints books and has printed school textbooks and an addendum to the colony's law code. The book binder's workshop had many orders. The wood turner's workshop still is in its beginnings. As more and more orders come in, the future of this institution, civilizatoric in the best sense of the word, is secured. 
If one looks at the figures of the population statistics, of export and import, they confirm the healthy and by no means slow development the German East African protectorate is going through.


Source: Deutscher Kolonial-Atlas mit Jahrbuch (Atlas German Colonies with Yearbook), edited by the Deutsche Kolonialgesellschaft (German Colonial Society). Berlin 1907, p.17f

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Dokument in deutscher Sprache