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Imperialism | Colonial Policy


Atlas of Germany's Colonies and Illustrated Yearbook, edited by P. Sprigade and M. Moisel, 1914, Deutsch-Ostafrika's Development in 1913
Deutsch-Ostafrika's Development in 1913

The report year in Deutsch-Ostafrika was peaceful. Despite the fact that unruly elements easily can cross the Rovuma on the Portuguese border, peace has not been disturbed. Yet in the protectorate which is twice the size of the motherland, in remote areas difficult to access, especially in the mountains, the natives are little accustomed to Europeans and therefore partially shy and obstinate. Still in 1913 raids on caravans were registered nowhere. This indicates that our Schutztruppe did a good job and enjoys respect.
For the indigenous population it has to be registered with satisfaction that we succeeded in stopping the spreading of the sleeping sickness in the region on Lake Victoria. Fighting the disease has occasionally caused us to resettle natives, in order to evacuate strongly infected areas which can not be expected to become disease-free speedily, and which have to be barred from settlement. Otherwise, coloured settlements sprang up at many locations, for instance along the Tanganyika railroad.
For the first time in many years we get detailed information on the Indian population in the colony. The statistical table gives their figure at less than 9000, of whom slightly over half, less than 5600, are men. Time will teach if the following comment from the official report is not too optimistic : "This relatively low number, compared with a total population of 7.5 million proves that frequent complaints, Deutsch-Ostafrika would be flooded with Indians, are in no way founded. The Muslimic Indians in part are Meman (Sunnites of the Hamitic branch), in part Thenaschiri (Persian National religion Shi'ites), in part Kodja Ismaili (extreme, Shi'ites, still to be counted to the Muslims), in part Bohoro (Shi'ites, Mustalites). The pagan Indians are Hindu, Buddhists, Sikhs, animists and others. The Jewish Indians (almost al flotillas, craftsmen) belong to the Ban Israel from Bombay, the former warllike wild Jews of Afghanistan. As regards the numbers listed under Arabs, the mingling practiced for centuries does not always permit us to clearly distinguish (p.34) who, of them is Arab and who is Suaheli, thus a native. Often religion and better lifestyle are the indicators. Of couse every wealthy, light-skinned coastal man, even if only a little Arab blood is flowing in his veins, prefers to call himself an Arab."

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If the Deutsch-Ostafrikan natives are to be credited with a success, it is their success in the cultivation of cotton. It is constantly expanding and today should bring in higher yield than the plantations run by Europeans. Year by year the separation of suitable and not suitable areas for the cultivation of cotton becomes more visible. In future the cultivation will only be promoted in suitable areas, but it will not be forgotten to remind the natives to cultivate food. Regarding the cotton cultivation on European plantations, the official annual report contains the following :
"The process of gradual elimination of areas unsuited for cotton cultivation, already mentioned when the native cultures were discussed, is also to be observed in the European plantations. It is complicated by the fact that according to the planters' experience, and according to experiments by the agricultural experimental station, many areas are not suited for the cultivation of cotton in general, but only for the Egyptian cotton seeds while upland seeds, especially Nyasa Upland delivers satisfactory to excellent harvests. So, in many areas Egyptian cotton cultivation recedes, giving way to upland seeds, for instance in the district of Morogoro. In general it is to be stated that when new cotton plantation are established, great care is placed on the selection of seeds, based on the experience made in the area, and great emphasis is placed on the experiments of the state stations; in consequence the quality of field labour and the treatment of cotton are improving. From a technical aspect, cotton cultivation is clearly progressing. In addition to future government support, in which the state cotton stations, which more and more attract the interest of the planters, are a suited instrument, a centralixation of the East African cotton trade and the creation of a brand are desirable in order to achieve a standardized evaluation of the product. Only in individual cases, diseases are registered. The Rufiji region has suffered from inundation, but the damage, due to the favourable conditions in the rainy season, in part have been repaired.
In order to promote the effort to improve agricultural cultivation, in addition to the biological-agricultural institute in Amani, an agricultural experimental station operates in Kibognoto in the Mischi District, further cotton stations at the Rufihi, near Kilossa, in the Tabora District and in the Lindi District, finally a fruit cultivation station in Morogoro to promote the cultivation of fruit trees in the colony. Further the plant protection office under the agricultural department in Daressalam; her task is to study plant diseases and parasites. The protectorate's European settlers have their interests represented by an organization. The Economic Association of Deutsch-Ostafrika has three branches, the Economic Association for Daressalam and hinterland, one for the Northern Districts, one for the Central Railroad. The Economic Association for the Southern Districts did not join the Economic Association for Deutsch-Ostafrika yet. The new figures regarding the livestock in Deutsch-Ostafrika come as a surprise. The official report assumes 4 million cattle and far more than 6 million head of small animals. Without doubt this figure does not include the entire livestock held by European and native farmers in the colony. Already today it creates export values of c. 5 million Mark, the main element of which are skins and furs, mainly exported from the districts on Lake Victoria.
In these districts, mainly in Bukoba, coffee cultivation has extended that much, that this district alone exported for 0.75 million Mark in 1912.
More and more markets emerge at coastal places ans at caravan locations. Along the Tanganjika Railroad they are found like pearls on a string, because the negro likes bargaining and trading. The yearly turnover of the market hall in Daressalam has to be estimated at 1/2 million Rupees. The market hall at Muansa also has a large turnover; many hundred thousands of kg of rice, fish, meat and similar items are traded there (p.35).
Because of the railway, the old caravan routes, especially the one from Tabora to Udjidji, are deserted. Caravan routes today serve only as tributaries. The construction of the large line went so fast, that the railway tip reached her final terminus, Kigoma, already on February 1st 1914, thus 1 1/2 years earlier than planned. This despite a number of difficulties turned up in the end; at times up to 16,000 men were at work, mostly Wanjamwesi. With every km we came closer to the Lake, residents of the coastal region failed to show up for work, while more and more workers from the interior reported for work. Nobody can match the Wanjamwesi in skill and effort. Such skilled workers can earn 2 1/2 Rupees per day, thus over 3 Mark, while the pay for unskilled workers is 8 to 13 Rp. (12-20 Mark), food not counted. In regions where it was easy to provide products of the land, the railway department did not supply food, but paid a daily sum of 15 Heller for food. The workers' health condition was satisfactory. On average, coloured workers received medical treatment for 10 days, the figure for the whites was more than double that rate. Everywhere field hospitals are established for the blacks. Their original hesitation regarding these new institutions was quickly overcome.
Efforts are undertaken everywhere in the protectorate to raise the health condition of the coloured population. In the report year, 0.75 million persons were vaccinated against pocks. At the Kilimandscharo the plague appeared; it quickly was contained by annihilation of the rats. The plague fighting expeditions near Muansa and at the Kilimandscharo, and at a few coastal places, killed more than 100,000 rats. In order to raise the education of the natives, a large number of schools have been established, 100 of which are government schools, the others missionary schools of both confessions. The government school for coloureds in Tabora has seen a significant expansion; the number of students rose from 60 to 300. Here, also adults showed up for instruction, soldiers and merchants. Of the graduated students, many where hired by private businesses or by the government. The two craftsmen schools in Daressalam and Tanga could be dissolved, as they are no longer necessary, due to the existence and growth of private enterprises. In their place the government has established schools for crafts further in the interior, first, on a larger scale, in Tabora.
Last year unfortunately their has been a dispute between the missionaries of both confessions. It is to be hoped that this can be regulated by agreement. Firstly the missionaries shall strive to reach their goal, fighting paganism and stand up to a further expansion of Islam. Even if the latter's power of agitation has not appeared in force last year, in migrating merchants, Askaris etc. it has active apostles, always eager to convert natives to the teachings of Muhamad.
If we want to turn Deutsch-Ostafrika into a new Germany, a further expansion of Islam has to be prevented. The figure of the white population of Deutsch-Ostafrika has risen not insignificantly last year, from 4.866 to 5.333. The population of the regions suitable for a permanent settlement of whites also has increased. We have to do everything possible to continue in this direction, if Deutsch-Ostafrika shall become a German colony.

Source: Deutscher Kolonial-Atlas mit Jahrbuch, (Atlas German Colonies, with Yearbook), edited by P. Sprigade und M. Moisel. Berlin 1914, p.33ff.

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