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Book Book Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:An economic history of central Niger
Author:Baier, StephenISNI
Series:Oxford studies in African affairs
City of publisher:Oxford
Publisher:Clarendon Press
Geographic term:Niger
Subject:economic history
Abstract:The study focusses on central Niger and in particular on Damagaram, a pre-colonial state with its capital in the walled city of Zinder, and on Damergu, a region of the Sahelian fringe north of Damagaram. Purpose is to trace the economic history of this area in the context of the larger region to which it belonged, over a period when the railway displaced desert caravans and the shift from northern to southern routes of access intensified; when trade of livestock for internal West African markets increased rapidly, and when a peasant export economy took root. The book follows the interplay of the local economy and outside forces beginning about 1850 through to 1960, and develops a number of more general themes, such as the influence of climate on society and economy, adaptation to drought, and long-term change in structures permitting survival during drought. Focus, however, is on commerce, where shifts in trade for local, regional, West African or overseas markets mirrored changes in productive activity in agriculture, stock breeding and local craft industries. Extensive use of oral sources permits historical analysis of individual African firms and the position of indigenous entrepeneurs under colonial rule.