Colonial Economies

Colonial Economies
• Economies based on
• Raw materials and need for markets.
• Self-supporting and self –sustaining e.g.
“Colonial Pact”
• Colonies must buy goods from the imperial
• Goal was to exploit the colonies.
• Infrastructure- Roads, railways and harbors
were built all over Africa ,
• From the interior to the coast to transport
resources out of Africa.
• Kenya- Uganda railway in East Africa-1901 tea and
• Accra-Kumasi railway built in1923 transported gold
from Ghana
• Lagos line Nigeria 1926 transported palm
Oil ,line from Port Harcourt.
Sekondi line built by the British in Ashante Kingdom to the
gold district of Kumasi .
St louis –Dakar line Senegal, Abidjan line 1903 and
Contonou line 1900
By 1913 export of gold from Ghana alone to Britain was
worth 1,656,000 pounds
• Africa had huge deposits of minerals that were
thoroughly exploited e.g.
• Gold in Ghana, Sofala, Kenya South Africa.
• Diamonds -South Africa
• Copper & Bronze- Congo
• Manganese & bauxite –Ghana.
• Iron ore- Sierra Leone.
• Tin - Nigeria
Raw materials
• Groundnuts- Senegal & Gambia
• Coffee& bananas-Ivory Coast and Uganda.
• Cocoa- Ghana still the worlds largest producer
• Rubber –Liberia and Congo.
• Tea –Uganda and Kenya-3rd Largest World
• Palm oil& cotton Nigeria
• The colonial system instituted monoculture at
the expense of food crops e.g. emphasized cash
crop production
• There was unequal trade between the imperial
powers and the periphery or satellite states.
• The powers controlled the market and fixed
• Forced the satellite states to sell to the imperial
• Trade was unfair- Africans were forced to buy
high manufactured European goods such as
cotton clothes and sell their products cheaply.
• Entrance of big marketing firms which
monopolized trade and pushed Africans out of
• A very important industry that colonial rule
• There was large scale mining of coal, gold, iron,
manganese, bauxite, platinum, diamonds, etc
• Mining industry was monopolized by the De
Beers –South Africa and the Consolidated
African Selection Trust (CAST) of West Africa.
• Mining was established by foreign capital and
profits repatriated to the Metropole.
• Direct and indirect taxation was introduced to the
• Indirect placed on tariffs on imported and
consumer goods.
• Direct taxation such as poll tax and hut tax on
• French also had the labor tax or the Covee,
• Labor was also exploited. French, Germans
Belgium and Portuguese practiced forced labor.
• African land was alienated such as the
White Highlands in Kenya, Land in
Rhodesia, South Africa etc.
• Fertile land was taken away from Africans.