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Imperialism | Colonial Policy


Atlas German Colonies, with Yearbook, edited by the German Colonial Society, 1908, Retrospect on the Development of the Togo Protectorate in 1907
Retrospect on the Development of the Togo Protectorate in 1907

(p.7) The best indicator for the continuing progress of our protectorate Togo is the constant increase of its white population, which rose since 1906 from 243 to 288, i.e. by 18.5 %. Certainly this increase can be partially explained by the German engineers and technicians which were called in for the construction of the railway Lome-Palime. But the number of merchants and craftsmen also increased considerably. 8 years ago, in 1899, only 118 whites were counted in the protectorate.
(p.8) Of the coloured population we know that it numbers less than a million; a census had not been undertaken; the figures for the individual districts are based on estimates. As in previous years, the relation between the whites and the natives was always untroubled. The so-called Islamic messengers, who are reported to have appeared at times in the hinterland, deserve attention. According to our opinion these people are primarily traders and agitators secondarily.
The most important events in the report year were the opening of the railroad Lome-Palime on January 27th 1907 and the colony's first agricultural exposition held in Palime the same day. The railroad is only 123 km long, but it already has a stimulating impact in many areas, for instance the natives use it to travel to and from the important market at Noëpe. In certain instances blacks habe given up their homes and moved to a location near the railroad. The lands to both sides of the line, which used to lay unworked, now have been taken under cultivation, and extensive, magnificently growing maize cultures grow on virgin soil, because only now it pays to cultivate this crop, as cheap and reliable transportation to the coast is now available. The same can be said for palm oil; on individual stations, new loading equipment had to be installed to make full use of the available waggons. Of course the railroad also facilitates the cultivation of cotton and caoutchouc.
Consequently, the export of the Togo Protectorate reached the hitherto highest level in 1906 (the figures for 1907 are not yet available). Caoutchouc is the most precious export product, and has, for the first time, topped the products which used to top the list, palm oil and palm kernels (counted together). The palm oil product exports also rose, after a number of dry years. Cotton export shows progress; in 1906 it amounted to 165,000 Mark, more than double the sum of the previous year. The export of maize had declined in 1906, bot rose extraordinarily in 1907.
The imports of 1906 were lower than those of 1905, mainly because of the decline in railway supplies. Otherwise it can be proven that the railroad also benefits imports.
The agricultural exposition, which was successful beyond expectation, showed clearly how far the agricultural production of the protectorate, including that of the natives, had developed. Naturally production has been strongly stimulated by the exposition, which facilitated comparison. Such an agricultural exposition shall soon be repeated, and then be held in regular intervals. Given the active economy, the protectorate's so-called Betriebsanlage (i.e. the pier with 45 km long coastal railroas and inland railroad) makes unexpectedly high profits, so that a cautious calculator such as Dernburg is considering to construct the new line Lome-Atakpame, which became necessary for economic reasons, solely with funds from surplusses of the former. The best indication for this healthy development is that trains pass this rather thinly populated area almost once a day in both directions. Good roads and ways passable for waggons have been laid, which continue from the line Lome-Palime across the central mountains. Also the protectorate's main inland road Lome-Atakpame-Sokode has been repaired. Trade between Europeans and coloureds occurs in the following ways : the products are delivered by the producers of by coloured intermediaries to the buyers resp. the main or branch factory of the merchant houses established in Lome and Anecho, which have branch agencies at nearly all major markets and road intersections.
These products, usually in small quantities, are in most cases sold for cash.
The branch agencies send the products they acquired by the means of the railway, by carriers or by payload waggons pulled by negroes, to the main factory. At the eastern border these products are also shipped by canoe down the Mono River and across the lagoon to Anecho, from where they are transported by coastal railroad to Lome to be shipped. Caoutchouc trade is organized in this way : the coloured merchant is given an advance in cash or goods; they go into the caoutchouc districts and buy caoutchouc either for cash or for goods. In this trade, also independent coloured merchants are engaged, who bring caoutchouc by their of caravans of carriers, mostly to Palime, which besides Atakpame is the main market for caoutchouc.
In order to educate junior officials, the government runs a school each in Lome and Sebbe, and a school for craftsmen at the former location. The official report on these schools' activities praises regular attention as well as the results of the students, whi, f.i. at the (p.9) school for craftsmen also receive instruction in German language. The students are 6 to 18 years old. Instruction is often difficult due to the many languages spoken by the students.The agricultural school at Nuatjä deserves to be specially mentioned, where young natives are instructed in practical agriculture. If they prove in examinations to successfully have passed the seminar, they are given a large plot of land free of charge, seeds and various tools, so that they can cultivate cotton or other products on their own.
In the face of such agricultural successes it does not come unexpected that the Togo protectorate, as in the previous year, again has managed without any subvention by the Reich, a fact which, as well known, for a number of years is honour and pride of this colony.

Books and Maps of 1907, pertaining to Togo

Amtsblatt des Schutzgebietes Togo (Official Gazette of the Togo Protectorate).

Pachtvertrag zwischen dem Fiskus des Schutzgebietes Togo und der Gesellschaft m. b. H., Lenz & Co. zu Berlin, betr. den Betrieb der Landungsbrücke der Küstenbahn u. der Inlandsbahn bis zum 31. Marz 1908. (Lease Contract between the Financial Authority of the Togo Protectorate and the Lenz &. Co. Limited, Berlin, relating to the operation of the service of the pier, the coastal railroad and the inland railroad) Drucks. d. Reichst. 12. Leg.-Perd., I. Sess. 1907, No. 91.

Spieth, J. Die Eweer. Land und Leute in Togo. (The Eweans. Land and People in Togo) with 66 illustrations and 5 maps. 88 p. 1907. Verlag der Norddeutschen Missions-Gesellschaft, Bremen. M. 1,20.

Further information on literature and maps on Togo are contained in "Dietrich Reimer's Mitteilungen". - 4 numbers of 30 Pfg. each annually. Dietrich Reimer (Ernst Vohsen) Berlin SW. 48.


Source: Deutscher Kolonial-Atlas mit Jahrbuch (Atlas German Colonies with Yearbook), edited by the Deutsche Kolonialgesellschaft (German Colonial Society). Berlin 1908, p.7ff.

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Dokument in deutscher Sprache