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Imperialism | Colonial Policy


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

On January 1913 the capital of Togo was connected by cable steamer "Stephan" of the Deutsch-Südamerikanischen Kabelgesellschaft to the sea cable Monrovia-Lome, so that the protectorate is the first overseas dependency which is connected with the motherland by a German cable. A few weeks later the connection to Duala was opened.
The telegraph connection has not been neglected; near Agbonu close to the Atakpame Railroad the station Kamina has been constructed, a large facility destined to establish communication with Nauen near Berlin. Later a connection with Deutsch-Südwestafrika will be attached. More then until now we will be able to receibe news from our nearest colony, only good news, it is to be hoped.
Economically speaking, 1913 was not a good year. Because of the draught most export articles declined and the caoutchouc crisis also affected the colony. The Togolese economy depends almost entirely on indigenous cultures, the improvement and increase of which is the highest goal of the administration. Especially cotton production is encouraged, by instruction and encouragement from the side of the district farm commissioners and the district offices and by the distribution of ample amounts of seeds. In some districts cotton cultivation has declined, as the population more and more turns to the cultivation of cocoa and oil palms.
The establishment of the agricultural teast station at Nuatja has failed to meet expectations. The settlements of graduated students have proven not viable and have not fulfilled their task of raising the level of the indigenous cultivations. Almost all of the settlers, with the permission of the administration, have returned into their home villages. The former agricultural school Nuatja, in the context of the desertion of the settlements, has been transformed into a Landeskulturanstalt (model farm) for the (p.20) fruits cultivated in the land. Among her special tasks are the breeding and production of seeds of cotton and maize to be distributed to the natives, to instruct natives in regular, appropriate cultivation, to undertake agricultural experiments, to calculate rentability for individual cultures. The area belonging to the facility has been expanded to 100 ha, by purchase. An average of 484 kg of cotton per ha was achieved. In addition, maize, sorghum, sweet potatoes, beans have been cultivated. The results of these field experiments brought valuable and interesting figures. The breeding of maize was begun. The goal is to breed maize with regular cones, high productivity, a pure white colour by eliminating the pigmented corns. 
After the lung epidemics has declined, the facility's cattle stand is expanding again; at the end of the report year it stood at 26, as compared to 19 early in the year. The imported Berkshire pigs thrive well, the number has increased by 48. 10 pigs have been handed over to natives, for breeding purposes.
The three hitherto existing European plantation corporations have expanded the area under cultivation from 991 ha to 1187 ha. Mainly they cultivate cocos palms, sisal agavas, cocoa and oil palms. 1912 marked a standstill in the colony's trade; for 1913 a decline is to be expected. If the trade with European products in the coastal cities declined, this must not necessarily be interpreted negatively, but is explained by the fact that European merchant houses move their branch stores more and more inland. The turnover of the Deutsch-Westafrikanische Bank, which among others handles the transactions of the government, has increased from 30 to 31 million. The number of savings account holders rose from 271 to 291, their combined deposit from 65,000 M. to 73,000 M. The majority, 265 in number, are natives, which have saved a combined 43,000 M. We may take this as proof that Togolese adapt more and more to German economic thought.
Again, during the last year no disturbances in the relations with the natives have been registered. The only exception was the emigration of c. 600 natives onto British territory after a fetish priest had been sentenced 
in the district Kete-Kratschi. The official report states that while there is little hope for them to return, this is not much of a loss as the persons in question showed little inclination to settle down anyway. If anything indicates that natives feel comfortable living under the German flag, it is the fact that they more and more pay their taxes in cash rather than in hours of work. More and more the coloureds make use of the administration when it comes to settling their arguments. This also has an effect on the chiefs who less and less arrive at arbitrary decisions, but apply law and justice. As before young Togo negroes flock to our schools, despite the fact that a course of instruction lasting six years has been introduced at all government and mission schools this year. The government workshops operate with a large number of coloured apprentices and students which have learned their craft in trade schools. In the coastal places, but also in the main stations along the railway intensive construction was going on. The cable corporation erected a massive house for her employees, the Norddeutsche Mission built a church of cement blocks and a roof of corrugated iron, as well as several school chapels; the Catholic mission completed the construction of her workshop in Lome, constructed a house for nuns in Anecho and chapels and residences at various places. Merchant houses also busily construct. The natives begin, in part occasioned by the administration, to construct their houses from better materials.
The best sign for the arrival of civilization in the Togo colony is the increasing use of motorcars. The governor has undertaken several of his inspection tours in a car and has shown considerable parts of the colony to secretary of state Dr. Solf on the occasion of his 10-day visit in October.
A part of transportation is conducted by trucks.

Source: Deutscher Kolonial-Atlas mit Jahrbuch, (Atlas German Colonies, with Yearbook), edited by P. Sprigade und M. Moisel. Berlin 1914, p.19f

GM (digitalisation) and AG (translation) 
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Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz


Dokument in deutscher Sprache