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Imperialism | Colonial Policy


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

In Kamerun, the German administration did not even reach certain tribes yet. Thus, every now and then there are clashes, and it is the obligation of the administration to interfere energetically against robbery and other transgressions by the blacks. In case of such an enterprise, while storming the robber's nest of Ngute, Lt. Schröder fell on January 16th. In the district of Jaunde chief Ngila repeatedly plundered caravans passing through; an expedition eas sent against him and he fell in a skirmish. 
Overall we can state that our relations with the natives improve more and more. Our demand for labour for the purpose of cleaning or newly constructing roads did not meet any difficulties. In the district of Duala chiefs asked the district office to tell them how to construct such nice roads as they had seen in town. In the plantations on the coast, the arrival of natives who moved there voluntarily, has been observed with satisfaction. The chiefs trust in the administration; more and more frequently they ask her for advice. Without shyness they utter their grievances, if they believe to be shortchanged by the whites. The popularity of the schools may be attributed to the same factor. But it has also to be mentioned that where the show of German force was necessary, we met more stubborn and determined resistance as in earlier years. 
Besides subjugating individual tribes, the policy leans toward the exploration of new territories. It has been determined, that in the southern part of Bamenda district, at a height of 1200 to 1400 m, a numerous population of high civilizatoric standard is living, cultivating kola and oil palm trees in large numbers. Similar new observations were made at several locations, for instance by the border expeditions which survey in the north, together with the British, and in the south and east, together with the French.
The indigenous population is still moving. In the south of the protectorate a movement from east to west has been observed. A gradual, ever increasing advance of the Haussas is to be registered.
The white population has again increased not inconsiderably, from 826 to 896 persons, 102 of these of female gender. Almost one sixth, 141, are settlers and planters, as compared to 108 in the previous year. The number of merchants increased from 268 to 283. If the number of craftsmen decreased, this has to be explained largely by the fact that more and more blacks have been educated as able craftsmen. The school for craftsmen in Buea has extended her facilities considerably. 40 apprentices are employed there; in addition to construction carpentry, it now has begun to deal with the production of furniture. The best suitable material is African oak, called Mbang; furniture made from it to not soak in this humid climate, in contrast to furniture made in Germany.
The government school in Duala is frequented by 277 students, the one in Victoria by 200 students. The graduates immediately find employment with the administration. A secondary school has been established. As a report comments, experience has shown that the result of instructions to older negroes are in no comparison to the effort invested.
On May 9th 1906 Reichstag approved the budget for the construction of a railway from Duala to the Manenguba Mountains. Works on the railway line are in progress for some time now. Experienced men, mostly missionaries, have pointed out that the railway can be of value only if it is extended further north. In addition, the road net is extended with all available (p.12) means. The district office of Jaunde, with the participation of the entire native population, has completed a road 75 km long from Jaunde until the Njong. Among public buildings the hospital for coloureds in Victoria, construction of which has been begun, and a lodging for carriers.
The oil palms stand well in Kamerun. Unfortunately fruits rot in large numbers, because suitable transportation is lacking. Concerning the collection of rubber, more and more complaints come in reporting overcropping. In the districts Kribi, Lolodorf, Ebolowa and Jaunde, which formerly were rich in rubber, caoutchouc plants are said to be all but exterminated. If Jaunde still is the main market for rubber, this is explained by the diligent population of Jaunde, thousands of which move into the remotest areas to acquire rubber and sell it to the merchant. In the district of Ossidinge the natives produce salt from a brine; it is traded until into the grassland.
The diligent Jaunde people deserve special mentioning. The Jaunde who is not in European employment is engaged in agriculture and the raising of livestock. The Jaunde district produces maize, durrah, cassada in large quantities, further yams, makabo, sweet potatos.
The German plantation owners are not much inclined to further cultivate cocoa in the Victoria district. The cocoa harvest has been reduced by brown rot and by the bark bug; yet it is still regarded satisfactory. Also satisfactory is the enthusiasm invested in the establishment of caoutchouc plantations; the plantations are urgently necessary to counter the overcropping mentioned before.
On reports of petrol finds, the Kamerun-Bergwerks-Gesellschaft has undertaken many drillings, without a result worthy to mention, so that the Gesellschaft has ceased her activities for the time being. At least, petrol containing sources have been determined near Duala, in large number. It is to be hoped that the geological exploration of the protectorate will be conducted more systematically, now that a geologist has arrived in the protectorate.
Trade still proceeds in form of barter trade. The usage of money does increase. This is illustrated by the fact that the natives who work on plantations on the coast often take a share of their pay in money back to their home area, spending it there or in factories along the way. So, on the great Bali road until behind Tinto, transactions in money dominate already and that the factories in that area have a not insignificant income in money.
The European firms have established their factories, especially those administrated by blacks, beyond the border of the jungle into the grassland, and so further extended the direct contact between the native and the white merchant. One merchant house has extended her activities even until Lake Chad. Ob the other hand, Haussa caravans in ever increasing number reach the coast. In the report year, they brought rubber, ivory, leather products, horses and donkeys.
The total trade volume in the Kamerun protectorate has increased. Imports mainly come from, exports mainly are destined for Germany. In imports, increases are registered in almost all products. Importantly, the figures for tobacco, textiles, clothing etc. have increased strongly. Nothing can better illustrate prosperity and increased purchasing power of the natives. If the figures show increased figures in metalwares and machines, this is explained bu the attempts to drill for oil in the Duala region. When it comes to export, increases are registered in all products of the land, for caoutchouc, ivory, cocoa, lumber, timber, cola nuts, palm kernels, while the figures for palm oil slightly decreased.
The favourable development of trade is also expressed in navigation figures, both in the numbers of incoming and departing ships, as well as in tonnage. 
As in Togo, schools are flourishing. The number of students in the government school in Duala was 277, as compared to 315 the year earlier. 22 of the students were from Fuala, 42 from other areas within the protectorate, the remainder from foreign countries. The school disposed temporarily over two, at times only over 1 German teacher, and over two native teachers. Instruction is given in six classes, combined in three departments. The curriculum includes all subject taught at German primary schools. In the secondary school, young natives shall be given further instruction; so that after graduation from 5 years of schooling they can be employed by the administration or enter into the service (p.13) of private companies as employees. Rooms are insufficient, which limit the results of instruction. Under the present conditions, schools are frequented regularly. The result of the school year was satisfactory; of the 22 students of the first class, 16 entered in the service of the government as office assistants or hospital assistants, 2 the postal service. Two students, sons of Manga Bell, want to complete their education in Germany. 2 students, too young to be employed, remain for another year in the first class.
In the government school in Victoria, one German teacher with four native assistant teachers gave the instruction. The number of students was 200 as compared to 210 in the previous year. Students often miss at school, because the children partly have to earn their living; also there are cases in which students, after staying at school for several months, move away, because they did not find any place to stay or only a bad one. Diseases such as foot or skin infections also often cause them to fall behind. Still, despite the change in teachers, the results were satisfactory. At the end of the school year, 30 students were graduated.
All in all, the report year of 1906, for the Kamerun protectorate, was all but a recession.


Source: Deutscher Kolonial-Atlas mit Jahrbuch (Atlas German Colonies with Yearbook), edited by the Deutsche Kolonialgesellschaft (German Colonial Society). Berlin 1907, p.11ff.

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Dokument in deutscher Sprache