By J.Forbes Munro
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Additional resources for Britain in Tropical Africa, 1880–1960: Economic Relationships and Impact
This scheme, matching in scale and vision the irrigation projects of British India, arose out of a combination of relatively unusual circumstances and seems to have had little or no impact upon policy elsewhere in Tropical Africa. The depression and the Second World War resulted in an increased level ofgovernment intervention in the economy [4: 2544; 5: 150-74]. The decline in trade values, shift in terms Qf trade, fall in public revenues, conflicts between economic interest groups and social unrest which occurred in the I 930s undermined official confidence in the free trade and laissez-faire economy at a time when the metropolitan state was abandoning the old policy prescriptions for the British economy itself.
During the 1920s, in particular, the development of feeder roads to the railways, the introduction of motor lorries and, in savanna areas, animal-drawn carts for transportation of crops, the terminal decline in head porterage and the end of compulsory labour for carriage of government loads, all resulted in an intensification of activity in established areas of peasant production, a transformation of previously marginal areas into established ones, and a general encroachment of market-oriented agriculture into the more remote areas [181; 4: 196-7; 96: 170-1; 90: 458-9].
Economic dualism was defined as a situation where 53 a money economy, organised and financed largely by Europeans and heavily dependent upon external trade and investment, grew up alongside the African economies where techniques were relatively backward, productivity was low, and real income barely rose above the minimum required for subsistence. The agrarian way of life practised in the African reserves was seen as a 'traditional economy' or sector, which yielded up surplus labour to the expanding European sector, but otherwise remained little changed over time [84: 4-5; 83: 40-1,58-9].
Britain in Tropical Africa, 1880–1960: Economic Relationships and Impact by J.Forbes Munro