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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Underdevelopment of the British Southern Cameroons, 1916-1961
Author:Amaazee, Victor B.
Periodical:Afrika Zamani: revue annuelle d'histoire africaine = Annual Journal of African History (ISSN 0850-3079)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:British Cameroons
Great Britain
West Africa
History and Exploration
Development and Technology
Economics and Trade
History, Archaeology
Economic and social development
Abstract:The attachment of the Southern Cameroons to Nigeria following the German defeat in the First World War was a marriage of administrative convenience. The difficulties encountered by Cameroonians in the new system in Nigeria contributed greatly to the underdevelopment of the British Southern Cameroons between 1916 and 1961. The British considered their mandated territory as a kind of liability, and consequently, development in the area was slow. It was only after the Second World War that the Southern Cameroons enjoyed some amount of deliberate development aid from Britain, and even then it was peripheral when compared to what went to Nigeria. Moreover, the United Kingdom made no attempt in its policy to encourage the inflow of private capital. The result was that the Southern Cameroons remained a producer of primary products for export. The backwardness of the Southern Cameroons was evident in the fields of roads and communications, education, health, industries and other capital investments. Lack of gainful employment was a further factor contributing to poverty. Civil service jobs were invariably held by the Igbo, who were also commercially successful. Because of the fear of Igbo domination, Cameroonian nationalism was directed not against the United Kingdom but against Nigeria, which was seen as the real colonial power in the territory. Bibliogr., ref.