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Imperialism | Colonial Policy


Atlas German Colonies, with Yearbook, edited by the German Colonial Society, 1907, Retrospect on the Development in the Togo Protectorate in 1906
Retrospect on the Development in the Togo Protectorate in 1906

As always, in the previous year the development of the protectorate was peaceful and continuous. Smaller transgressions have occurred in villages in the hinterland; however they were settled by the interference of the police, without bloodshed. A certain unrest among the Muslim population has attracted the attention of the government, but not her suspicion; it seems to be a consequence of the establishment of the French and British 
administration in the Sudan. A branch of the movement has penetrated into the hinterland of our protectorate. Migrating preachers appeared in the districts Mangu, Sokode and Kratschi, holding inflammatory speaches. The gouvernor does not believe that Islam will become more fanatic and aggressive in our protectorate, as it has been before. 
Until January 1st 1906, the protectorate's white population rose to 234, among them 39 women and 7 children. In Lome the population stagnated, in Anecho it even declined slightly; on the other hand it increased in the districts Misahöhe and Atakpame - an indication that our colonization penetrates further into the hinterland. This population increase mainly is a consequence of the extension of the railway line to Palime.
Concerning the indigenous population, so far we had to rely on estimates. Yet, today it is believed that the entire population does not exceed 1 million, while just a few years ago double that figure was assumed.
Both the European and the indigenous population enjoyed good health; this year we do not have to mention epidemics, which, unfortunately, featured in last year's report.
The hinterland railroad has been completed until Agome-Palime last year, which is, for the time being, the final terminal. It has been opened on Emperor's birthday in 1907. Its gauge width is 1 m and since the opening of partial stretches it is frequented far beyond expectations. The railway will only then unfold its fill effectiveness, if it will be extended into the Atakpame and Sokodé districts. Hand in hand with the development of the railways, connecting roads are constructed. The road from Palime until Misahöhe station has been prepared for the use of waggons; it will be continued across Francois Pass into the Volta river valley. This is not a small task, as large blocks of rock have to be removed by blasting, and gorges have to be bridged; consequently progress is slow.
Increased waggon traffic into the hinterland required the improvement of several road stretches and bridges. The dam crossing the Schio marsh has been completed, also the bridge spanning the Haho. Short sandy stretches disregarded, the Atakpame Road also is in a good condition; here a truck shall serve traffic.
Four more roads have been constructed in Lome, paved with Laterit. All paved roads have been planted with almond tree alleys.
Both exports and imports have increased from 1904 to 1905 (as in the case of the other protectorates, the figures of 1906 are not yet available), but not much. The export of palm oil and palm kernels still suffers from the after-effects of the drought of 1903 and 1904, despite the fact that in 1905 precipitation in the oil palm districts were higher in the report year.
Another factor is that the indigenous men had been busy with railroad construction and intensified maize cultivation and with earning their living, and so have neglected the palm fruits somewhat. The increase in maize production is to the credit of the Togo negroes, proving their economic flexibility and intelligence. Higher prices for maize in Europe made it profitable for firms established in the protectorate, to export maize, especially to Germany. The export of maize rose from 660,000 kg in 1904 to 9,367,000 kg in 1905, for a value of 39,000 M., resp. 567,000 M. Only the districts close to the coast qualified for maize export, due to the lack of better transportation to the hinterland.
Another consequence of the booming maize cultivation is the stagnation of cotton cultivation in the districts of Lome and Anecho. Maize brought in higher profits. Negroes in the districts of Atakpame and Misahohe like to cultivate cotton, all the more as they are paid high prices due to intensive competition between European merchant houses, and as processing has been facilitated by the construction of several gin factories.
In order to promote the cultivation of cotton and all native agriculture, the governor had extended the facilities of the agricultural school in Nuatja, which used to be run by the Colonial-Economic Committee. Instruction lasts for three years; school year and calendar year are (p.9) identical. Most diligent and intelligent men, which are willing to take on hard work, are to be instructed, not under 17 and not over 23 years of age. The students are paid 12 to 15 M as wage and to cover their expenses, and in addition the cotton harvested from 1 ha until the day of their graduation. The student has to pay 4.50 M per month for lodging and food. Everybody is free to cook for himself; then he has to pay only 0.50 M for lodging. Examinations are held every school year. Graduated students are given a diploma. Then they are settled in their home districts, on land allocated to them by the district chief. Every former student is given 8 ha land, a plough, a hoe, a machete, a pitchfork, if possible two or three ozen suitable for work. He can be supplied with a farm-labourer, and he is provided with seeds. The harvests are his property entirely.
The export of caoutchouc has risen, not insignificantly. For the first time the value of caoutchouc exports have topped those of palm oil and palm kernels. Harvests of cocoa, coffee and cola nuts are negligible.
If one counts the ships arriving in the protectorate, one registers a decline as compared to last year, which is explained by the closure of Anecho roadsted after the opening of the coastal railroad (July 18th 1905), so that Lome now is the only port of the protectorate. The majority of the ships entering the port of Lome sails under the German flag.
The government schools in Togo enjoy rising popularity among the natives, as these realize, that learning the German language is advantageous to them. In the report year the government school in Lome had 100 students, as compared to 46 the year before. Quite a number of applicants had to be rejected due to lack of space.
A white teacher instructs the two upper classes, the two lower classes are each taught by a black assistant teacher. Since 1906 (the school year begins on January 24th) classes are held only in the morning hours. Subjects taught are object and language lessons, memorization, reading, language, orthography, essay, in the upper class written and oral translation exercises from German into Ewe and vice versa, in addition calligraphy, counting, singing, finally in the two upper classes geography and history.
The Togo native is talented when it comes to learning foreign languages; the youngsters quickly learn to undertand, or "listen to" German, as they refer to it. In the afternoon homework is done or the youngsters do physical or technical exercises - gymnastics, gardening, casting etc.
If at home in our country the school has educational responsibilities next to those of scientific instruction, this is all the more important in Togo. The black boys have to be taught a sense for order, hygiene and good manners. They have to take a daily bath and to do their laundry weekly. It is a success that the students' health condition is steadily improving.
Of the 17 students of the craftsmen's school in Lome 8 selected carpentry, two will become smiths, one chose masonry and 6 will become tailors. They also are instructed in drawing, German and counting. Especially in drawing, a number of students have been given exceptionally good grades; for this they have a natural talent.
In the government school in Sebevi, a German teacher with two black assistant teachers have given 32 weekly hours of instruction to 103 students in five classes. The school attendance was regular. Of the graduates, two became merchants, three want to enter the German administration as lower clerks.


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