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Imperialism | Colonial Policy


Atlas German Colonies, with Yearbook, edited by the German Colonial Society, 1908, Retrospective on the development of the Protectorate of Kamerun in 1907
Retrospective on the development of the Protectorate of Kamerun in 1907

(p.10) The total number of the protectorate's white population has crossed the number 1,000 in 1908 and, with 1,010 as compared to 896 on January 1st 1906, has registered an increase of 13 %. The number of planters decreased from 141 to 86 as compared to last year. The reason is one of the largest plantation corporation having fired in tital more than 50 employees; the vacated positions have been filled with blacks. Fortunately, the number of merchants has risen from 283 to 347, their number has especially increased in the southern district, because certain areas, which had seen an uprising, have calmed down and thus have become accessible for trade.
A census of the indigenous population is not possible, as the natives in many districts live scattered in the jungle and only rarely and reluctantly join to live in larger settlements.
As far as the individual tribes have already been placed under strict administration, the population's trust in the government is continuously growing. This is indicated by the active participation in chiefs' assemblies observed everywhere, and by the interest invested in these chiefs' consultations. For instance, at a chiefs' assembly which was called for by the government on the occasion of an inspection tour by the Schutztruppe commander to Ebolova, 300 chiefs attended; it has to be stressed that for the chiefs residing in the more distant stretches of the district, attendance caused numerous difficulties. One of the more famous chiefs, Joja of Bamum, will visit Germany in 1908. More and more, the offices are entrusted with litigations. In this way the district officials are given the opportunity to become more and more acquainted with the customs and legal traditions of the indigenous, and in a gradual and careful approach to develop the indigenous views pertaining to tradition and law in the direction of a modern, higher civilization. In the Duala District, by the means of jurisdiction, it had been accomplished to almost completely end the abuse of giving girls into marriage at childhood age (p.11) among the Duala. By now it is generally recognized, that it is an obligation of the tribes to keep the roads free and clean by clearing them, and demands from the side of the administration do, in general, not meet any resistance. Even newly subjected tribes show their willingness in regard to road construction.
It should not be concealed that large areas are still little accessed, and that some warlike tribes attempt to evade the influence of the administration. This is namely true for the southern part of Kamerun, and for the complete pacification there are still steps to be undertaken, but also for the northern and central part, some complications are still to be expected.
The labour and transportation question has to be described as very serious. The upsurge of trade over the last years, the plantation's constant demand for labour, the beginning of railway construction and the ever growing utilization of the village communities for road construction and carrier services has reached extraordinary proportions. According to the latest reports of the district office, the southern district is almost completely 
exhausted and has reached its capacity limits.
General conditions of production and labour have not seen any significant change during the report year. Next to ivory, caoutchouc, palm oil and palm kernels form the most important original products of the country, the only plantation product of importance now is cocoa. The northern coastal district exported chiefly this item, and cola nuts. In the central parts mostly palm oil and palm kernels are grown, while in the south of the colony caoutchouc and ivory take first place.
So, trade has increased in 1906 over that of the previous year, despite a small decrease in the import figures. This, primarily, is explained by the import of guns and powder being outlawed. In the export figures, caoutchouc takes first place, amounting to more than double the sum for palm kernels and more than four times the sum for cocoa. The export of ivory has declined in the report year, which probably is linked to the import of guns and ammunition, because in Kamerun it is an old custom to exchange elephant tusks only against powder and guns. Unfortunately, for a number of years now, elephants large and small have been shot without consideration, so that a decline in ivory exports is to be expected soon, unless measures are taken to counter it. This observation has also been made in neighbouring colonies. On April 1st 1907 a regulation took force, according to which it is illegal to trade tusks below 5 kg.
Duala, in the first place, profits from an increase in Kamerun exports. Partially this is explained with expanding export of palm kernels and palm oil, and it will continue to increase when the Manenguba Railroad will connect it with the best palm oil region of the entire colony. By the way, Germany is, as always, the most important market for Kamerun's exports.
If the import figures for furniture and woodwork show a reduction by more than half, this is explained by the activities of carpenter workshops run by indigenous in Buea and Duala, which have taken on larger orders.
The protectorate's schools continue to progress in the old way. A school has even been opened in Deutsch-Adamaua, in Garua. It had to deal with a number of difficulties caused by the chiefs and men-in-power. The resident of Garua then had selected children of ordinary Fullahs, even of slaves, for schooling : 45 boys between 6 and 10 years of age, after many had been sorted out as unsuitable. As it seemed desirable to have the schoolboys under permanent supervision, they have been given lodging in the school complex. They dwell in one house and 8 huts around which kitchen- and storage rooms are grouped. The edifices are made of clay and covered with grass. The construction of a massive school building is planned for the future. Taught are writing, reading, counting, object lessons, singing, physical education and gardening. The prospects of the school can not be judged yet. Students have proved willingness to learn. It has been observed that their pronunciation of German letters is of more purity than that of the coastal negroes.
As in the previous years, Kamerun has seen an invigoration in all aspects of life, as coincidingly witnessed by the annual reports of the Berlin and Hamburg Chambers of Commerce.

Books and Maps of 1907 pertaining to Kamerun

Dominik, Hauptm. H., Vom Atlantik zum Tschadsee, Kriegs- und Forschungsfahrten in Kamerun, (From the Atlantic to Lake Chad. War and Research Travels in Kamerun) with maps, E. S. Mittler & Sohn, Berlin 1907. hardcover M. 7.50.

Ziemann, Mar.-Oberstabsarzt Dr. H., Belehrungen für Europäer an Orten ohne Arzt. Fur Kamerun verfasst. (Instructions for Europeans without a medical doctor, edited for Kamerun) G. Heinicke, Berlin.

Ziemann, Grete, "Mola Koko!" Grüsse aus Kamerun. (Greetings from Kamerun). Diary entries with maps W. Süsserott, Berlin 1907. M. 6,-.

(p. 12) Kamerun, Provisorische Ausgabe der Karte des südlichen Teiles von 1 : 500.000. (Provisorical edition of the map featuring the southern part) edited and drawn by C. Jurisch and H. Wehlmann under the guidance of M. Moisel. 3. Sect. Based on the astronomical determination of longitude and latitude, undertaken in the process of the Süd-Kamerun-Grenzexpedition in 1901-1903 by Capt. Engelhardt, Oberlt. Foerster u. Lt. Schulz, with the consultation of hitherto unpublished surveys and of the entire older topographic material hitherto published. Dietrich Reimer (Ernst Vohsen) Berlin S.W.48. 1907. M. 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.10ff.

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