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Imperialism | Colonial Policy


Atlas of Germany's Colonies and Illustrated Yearbook, edited by the German Colonial Society, 1908, Retrospect on the Development of the Togo Protectorate in 1908

Retrospect on the Development of the Togo Protectorate in 1908.

(p.12) Thanks to the peaceful conditions, development in 1908 was steady. If the white population declined from 288 to 268, this is explained by a larger number of technicians who left the colony after the completion of the railroad Lome-Palime. Compared to 1906 there is still an increase.

Figure 4 : railway carriage of the Togobahn

Health conditions have been constantly favourable. In the report year, 4 Europeans died. In order to improve sanitary conditions, a lot is undertaken. For example in Anecho 6 wide streets have been cut through the most densely populated district of the indigenous, in order to pave a way for the sea breeze. A number of pools and other mosquito breeding areas have been filled. Such steps have also been begun in Agome-Palime, especially by regulating a creek. Thanks to good atmospheric conditions the colony's economic development was favourable; here all production depends on agriculture, and the development of trade depends on the purchasing power of the natives. Oil palm products, palm oil and palm kernels, which had declined in the last years due to the drought, have exceeded the earlier production and form the most important position, with 1.4 million Mark, in the export statistic. They are followed by maize with 1.2 million Mark, almost three times the figure of the previous year (o.4 million). Caoutchouc export increased in amount, but declined in value (1.1 million Mark) because of lower world market prices. Cotton export increased from 165,000 Mark to 231,000 Mark. It could be higher, if the districts close to the coast would not prefer the more profitable cultivation of maize. The cultivation of cocoa in the Misahohe District is promising; in the previous year it exported more than 50.000 kg at a value of 51.000 Mark.
In order to increase agricultural production, as far as it dominates trade relations with the European market, is one of the foremost tasks of the administration. Especially, the peoples willing to produce, living in the areas not yet opened (p.13) which have no opportunity to market their products because of the lack of cheap transportation, have to be connected with the world market by the means of suitable traffic routes. In the protectorate news, that the construction of the first, large stretch of the railway line from Lome to Atakpame was approved by Reichstag in May 1908, was greated with great joy; this line has to be extended into the furthest hinterland. On the present status of the construction works at the end of the year it is reported :
At km 2.7 of the inland line Lome-Palime the new line deviates. Soon it descends into the 9 km wide Schio Valley, bridging the mentioned river, which has water almost year round, at km 17.5. The bridge shall have two openings of 25 m width each. Further, an iron bridge of 12 m width will serve crossing a high water branch of the Schio at km 18.85. The rail body has been completed almost until the Schio River; the frequent heavy rains of last November have made a number of maintenance works necessary. The number of workers was, at that time, 1500, who worked for 9 hours. So far there have been no difficulties in supplying them with food. The Lome district administration has acquired a stretch 50 m wide on both sides of the bridge, which has been extended to 75 m at locations where railway stations and stops are planned. 
Government and agricultural schools serve the education of the indigenous. In Lome, for instance, carpenter apprentices are instructed who can work, after fonishing their apprenticeship, as carpenters and as joiners. Similarly smiths and locksmiths and tailors, who are taught so that they can work independently.
Governor Count Zech, convinced, if anywhee, in this, our smallest colony the indigenous are the most important activum of the protectorate, and strives in many ways to promote the coloureds, to help them in any way. A penal legislation fitting the views of the indigenous is planned. In this regard the following official report has been made :
"a government official with juridical education, who has been charged with the collection of material in the previous year for the promulgation of a penal law code fitting, where possible, the conditions of the land and the traditions of the indigenous, has handed in two voluminous works; in one of them the penal law presently administered by the district officials in charge of jurisdiction is treated; in the other, the views of law of the protectorate's various tribes are described. The entire material will be used to promulgate a penal legislation considering the sentiment of the natives."


Colonial Literature and Maps 1908/09 : Togo

Schönhärl, J. Volkskundliches aus Togo. Märchen und Fabeln, Sprichwörter und Rätsel, Lieder und Spiele etc. der Ewe-Neger von Togo. (Ethnological Material from Togo. Sayings and Riddles, Songs and Games etc. of Togo's Ewe 
Negroes) hardcover 8 Mark.

Westermann, D. Grammatik der Ewe-Sprache. (Grammar of the Ewe Lanfuage) 8 Mark.

Westermann, D. Handbuch der Ful-Sprache. (Manual of the Ful Language) hardcover 8 Mark.


Togo. edited by P. Sprigade. 1 : 500.000, 2 leaves with name index. Published by the Reichs-Kolonialamt, 62x54 cm each, 2 Mark. on linen in pocket size 4 Mark.

Togo in 10 leaves. Edited by P. Sprigade. 1 : 200.000 Leaves. A1, Sansane-Mangu; B1, Jendi; B2, Barsari; C2, Sokode. 2nd corrected edition. Published by the Reichs-Kolonialamt. D.Reimer, Berlin. Price per leaf 2 Mark, on linen in pocke size 3.20 Mark.

Wandkarte von Togo. (Wall map of Togo) edited by P. Sprigade. 1 : 500.000. Size 65x125. Price 6 Mark, drawn on linen with sticks 9 Mark.

Uebersichtskarte der Stadtlage Lome. (Survey map of Lome Town) 1 : 4000. Published by the Gouvernement. Price 3 Mark, on linen in pocket size 4.50 Mark.

Further notes on literature and maps can be found in Dietrich Reimer's "Mitteilungen für Ansiedler, Farmer, Tropenpflanzer, Beamte, Forschungsreisende und Kaufleute". Issued quarterly, single issues at 30 Pfennig; yearly issue, postage included, at 1.60 Mark. Available at all bookstores or directly from Dietrich Reimer (Erich Vohsen), Berlin SW 48.

Source: Deutscher Kolonial-Atlas mit Jahrbuch, (Atlas German Colonies, with Yearbook), edited by P. Sprigade und M. Moisel, Yearbook and Remarks by Hubert Henoch. Berlin 1909, p.12f

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