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to the special circumstances which likewise caused so large a part of the

continent to remain so long a terra incognita. The principal drawbacks may

be summarized as: (1) the absence of means of communication with the

interior; (2) the unhealthiness of the coast-lands; (3) the small

productive activity of the natives; (4) the effects of the slave trade in

discouraging legitimate commerce. None of these causes is necessarily

permanent, that most difficult to remove being the third; the negro races

finding the means of existence easy have little incentive to toil. The

first drawback has almost disappeared, and the building of railways and the

placing of steamers on the rivers and lakes—a work continually progressing

—renders it year by year easier for producer and consumer to come together.

As to the second drawback, while the coast-lands in the tropics will

always remain comparatively unhealthy, improved sanitation and the

destruction of the malarial mosquito have rendered tolerable to Europeans

regions formerly notorious for their deadly climate.

At various periods since the partition of the continent began, united

action has been taken by the powers of Europe in the interests of African

trade. The Berlin conference of 1884-1885 decreed freedom of navigation and

trade on the Congo and the Niger, and the Anglo-Portuguese treaty of 1891

secured like privileges for the Zambezi. The Berlin conference likewise

enacted that over a wide area of Central Africa—the conventional basin of

the Congo—there should be complete freedom of trade, a freedom which later

on was held to be infringed in the Congo State and French Congo by the

granting to various companies proprietary rights in the disposal of the

product of the soil. More important in their effect on the economic

condition of the continent than the steps taken to ensure freedom of trade

were the measures concerted by the powers for the suppression of the slave

trade. The British government had for long borne the greater part of the

burden of combating the slave trade on the east coast of Africa and in the

Indian Ocean, but the changed conditions which resulted from the appearance

of other European powers in Africa induced Lord Salisbury, then foreign

secretary, to address, in the autumn of 1888, an invitation to the king of

the Belgians to take the initiative in inviting a conference of the powers

at Brussels to concert measures for ``the gradual suppression of the

Suppression of the slave trade.

slave trade on the continent of Africa, and the immediate closing of all

the external markets which it still supplies.'' The conference assembled in

November 1889, and on the 2nd of July 1890 a general act was signed subject

to the ratification of the various governments represented, ratification

taking place subsequently at different dates, and in the case of France

with certain reservations. The general act began with a declaration of the

means which the powers were of opinion might be most effectually adopted

for ``putting an end to the crimes and devastations engendered by the

traffic in African slaves, protecting effectively the aboriginal

populations of Africa, and ensuring for that vast continent the benefits of

peace and civilization.'' It proceeded to lay down certain rules and

regulations of a practical character on the lines suggested. The act covers

a wide field, and includes no fewer than a hundred separate articles. It

established a zone ``between the 20th parallel of north latitude, and the

22nd parallel of south latitude, and extending westward to the Atlantic and

eastward to the Indian Ocean and its dependencies, comprising the islands

adjacent to the coast as far as 100 nautical miles from the shore,'' within

which the importation of firearms and ammunition was forbidden except in

certain specified cases, and within which also the powers undertook either

to prohibit altogether the importation and manufacture of spirituous

liquors, or to impose duties not below an agreed-on minimum.1 An elaborate

series of rules was framed for the prevention of the transit of slaves by

sea, the conditions on which European powers were to grant to natives the

right to fly the flag of the protecting power, and regulating the procedure

connected with the right of search on vessels flying a foreign flag. The

Brussels Act was in effect a joint declaration by the signatory powers of

their joint and several responsibility towards the African native, and

notwithstanding the fact that many of its articles have proved difficult,

if not impossible, of enforcement, the solemn engagement taken by Europe in

the face of the world has undoubtedly exercised a material influence on the

action of several of the powers. Moreover, with the increase of means of

communication and the extension of effective European control, slave-

raiding in the interior was largely checked and inter-tribal wars

prevented, the natives being thus given security in the pursuit of trade

and agriculture.

Other important factors in the economic as well as the social conditions

of Africa are the advance in civilization made by the natives in several

regions and the increase of the areas found suitable for white

colonization. The advance in civilization among the natives, exemplified by

the granting to them of political rights in such countries as Algeria and

Cape Colony, leads directly to increased commercial activity; and commerce

increases in a much greater degree when new countries— e.g. Rhodesia and

British East Africa—become the homes of Europeans. Finally, in reviewing

the chief factors which govern the commercial development of the continent,

note must be taken of the sparsity of the population over the greater part

of Africa, and the efforts made to supplement the insufficient and often

ineffective native labour by the introduction of Asiatic labourers in

various districts—of Indian coolies in Natal and elsewhere, and of Chinese

for the gold mines of the Transvaal.

The resources of Africa may be considered under the head of: (1) jungle

products; (2) cultivated products; (3) animal

Chief economic resources.

products; (4) minerals. Of the first named the most important are india-

rubber and palm-oil. which in tropical Africa supply by far the largest

items in the export list. The rubber-producing plants are found throughout

the whole tropical belt, and the most important are creepers of the order

Apocynaceae, especially various species of Landolphia (with which genus

Vahea is now united). In East Africa Landolphia kirkii (Dyer) supplies the

largest amount, though various other species are known Forms of apparently

wider distribution are L. hendelotii, which is found in the Bahr-el-Ghazal,

and extends right across the continent to Senegambia; and L. (formerly

Vahea) comorensis, which, including its variety L. florida, has the widest

distribution of all the species, occurring in Upper and Lower Guinea, the

whole of Central Africa, the east coast, the Comoro Islands and Madagascar.

In parts of East Africa Clitandra orienitalis is a valuable rubber vine. In

Lagos and elsewhere rubber is produced by the apocynaceous tree, Funtumia

elastica, and in West Africa generally by various species of Ficus, some

species of which are also found in East Africa. The rubber produced is

somewhat inferior to that of South America, but this is largely due to

careless methods of preparation. The great destruction of vines brought

about by native methods of collection much reduced the supply in some

districts, and rendered it necessary to take steps to preserve and

cultivate the rubber-yielding plants. This has been done in many districts

with usually encouraging results. Experiments have been made in the

introduction of South American rubber plants, but opinions differ as to the

prospects of success, as the plants in question seem to demand very

definite conditions of soil and climate. The second product, palm-oil, is

derived from a much more limited area than rubber, for although the oil

palm is found throughout the greater part of West Africa, from 10 deg. N.

to 10 deg. S., the great bulk of the export comes from the coast districts

at the head of the Gulf of Guinea. A larger supply, equal to any market

demand, could easily be obtained. A third valuable product is the timber

supplied by the forest regions, principally in West Africa. It includes

African teak or oak (Oldfieldia africana), excellent for shipbuilding; the

durable odum of the Gold Coast (Chlorophora excelsa); African mahogany

(Khaya senegalensis); ebony (Diospyros ebenum); camwood (Baphia nitida);

and many other ornamental and dye woods. The timber industry on the west

coast was long neglected, but since 1898 there have been large exports to

Europe. In parts of East Africa the Podocarpus milanjianus, a conifer, is

economically important. Valuable timber grows too in South Africa,

including the yellow wood (Podocarpus), stinkwood (Ocotea), sneezewood or

Cape ebony (Euclea) and ironwood.

Other vegetable products of importance are: Gum arabic, obtained from

various species of acacia (especially A. senegal), the chief supplies of

which are obtained from Senegambia and the steppe regions of North Africa

(Kordofan, &c.); gum copal, a valuable resin produced by trees of the

leguminous order, the best, known as Zanzibar or Mozambique copal, coming

from the East African Trachylobium hornemannianum, and also found in a

fossil state under the soil; kola nuts, produced chiefly in the coast-lands

of Upper Guinea by a tree of the order Sterculiaceae (Kola acuminata);

archil or orchilla, a dye-yielding lichen (Rocella tinctoria and

triciformis) growing on trees and rocks in East Africa, the Congo basin,

&c.; cork, the bark of the cork oak, which flourishes in Algeria; and alfa,

a grass used in paper manufacture (Machrochloa tenacissima), growing in

great abundance on the dry steppes of Algeria, Tripoli, &c. A product to

which attention has been paid in Angola is the Almeidina gum or resin,

derived from the juice of Euphorbia tirucalli.

The cultivated products include those of the tropical and warm temperate

zones. Of the former, coffee is perhaps the most valuable indigenous plant.

It grows wild in many parts, the home of one species being in Kaffa and

other Galla countries south of Abyssinia, and of another in Liberia. The

Abyssinian coffee is equal to the best produced in any other part of the

world. Cultivation is, however, necessary to ensure the best results, and

attention has been given to this in various European colonies. Plantations

have been established in Angola, Nyasaland, German East Africa, Cameroon,

the Congo Free State, &c.

Copra, the produce of the cocoa-nut palm, is supplied chiefly by Zanzibar

and neighbouring parts of the east coast. Groundnuts, produced by the

leguminous plant, Arachis hypogaea, are grown chiefly in West Africa, and

the largest export is from Senegal and the Gambia; while Bambarra ground-

nuts (Voandzeia subterranea) are very generally cultivated from Guinea to

Natal. Cloves are extensively grown on Zanzibar and Pemba islands, Pemba

being the chief source of the world's supply of cloves. The chief drawbacks

to the industry are the fluctuations of the yield of the trees, and the

risk of over-production in good seasons.

Cotton grows wild in many parts of tropical Africa, and is exported in

small quantities in the raw state; but the main export is from Egypt, which

comes third among the world's sources of supply of the article. It is also

cultivated in West Africa—the industry in the Guinea coast colonies having

been developed since the beginning of the 20th century—and in the Anglo-

Egyptian Sudan, whence came the plants from which Egyptian cotton is

grown. Sugar, which is the staple crop of Mauritius, and in a lesser degree

of Reunion, is also produced in Natal, Egypt, and, to a certain extent, in

Mozambique. Dates are grown in Tunisia and the Saharan oases, especially

Tafilet; maize in Egypt, South Africa and parts of the tropical zone; wheat

in Egypt, Algeria and the higher regions of Abyssinia; rice in Madagascar.

Wine is largely exported from Algeria, and in a much smaller quantity from

Cape Colony; fruit and vegetables from Algeria. Tobacco is widely grown on

a small scale, but, except perhaps from Algeria, has not become an

important article of export, though plantations have been established in

various tropical colonies. The cultivation of cocoa has proved successful

in the Gold Coast, Cameroon and other colonies, and in various districts

the tea plant is cultivated. Indigo, though not originally an African

product, has become naturalized and grows wild in many parts, while it is

also cultivated on a small scale. The main difficulty in the way of

tropical cultivation is the labour question, which has already been

referred to.

Of animal products one of the most important is ivory, the largest export

of which is from the Congo Free State. The diminution in the number of

elephants with the opening up of the remoter districts must in time cause a

falling-off in this export. Beeswax is obtained from various parts of the

interior of West Africa, and from Madagascar. Raw hides are exported in

large quantities from South Africa, as are also the wool and hair of the

merino sheep and Angora goat. Both hides and wool are also exported from

Algeria and Morocco, and hides from Abyssinia and Somaliland. Ostrich

feathers are produced chiefly by the ostrich farms of Cape Colony, but some

are also obtained from the steppes to the north of the Central Sudan. Live

stock, principally sheep, is exported from Algeria and cattle from Morocco.

The exploited minerals of Africa are confined to a few districts, the

resources of the continent in this respect being largely

Mineral Wealth.

undeveloped. Since the discovery of gold in the Transvaal, particularly in

the district known as the Rand (1885), the output has grown enormously, so

that in 1898 the output of gold from South Africa was greater than from any

other gold-field in the world. The Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902 lost the

Rand the leading position, but by 1905 the output—in that year over L.

20,800,000—was greater than it had ever been. The supply of gold from South

Africa is roughly 25% of the world's output. The gold-yielding formations

extend northwards through Rhodesia. The Gold Coast is so named from the

quantity of gold obtained there, and since the close of the 19th century

the industry has developed largely in the hands of Europeans. In the Galla

countries gold has long been an article of native commerce. It is also

found in various parts of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan and along the western

shore of the Red Sea. Diamonds are found in large quantities in a series of

beds known as the Kimberley shales, the principal mines being at Kimberley,

Cape Colony. Diamonds are also found in Orange River Colony, while one of

the richest diamond mines in the world—the Premier—is situated in the

Transvaal near Pretoria. Some 80% of the world's production of diamonds

comes from South Africa. Copper is found in the west of Cape Colony, in

German South-West Africa, and in the Katanga country in the southern Congo

basin, where vast beds of copper ore exist. There are also extensive

deposits of copper in the Broken Hill district of Northern Rhodesia. It

also occurs in Morocco, Algeria, the Bahr-el-Ghazal, &c. Rich tin deposits

have been found in the southern Congo basin and in Northern Rhodesia. Iron

is found in Morocco, Algeria (whence there is an export trade), and is

widely diffused, and worked by the natives, in the tropical zone. But the

deposits aregenerally not rich. Coal is worked, principally for home

consumption, in Cape Colony, Natal, the Transvaal, Orange River Colony, and

in Rhodesia in the neighbourhood of the Zambezi. Coal deposits also exist

in the German territory north of Lake Nyasa. Phosphates are exported from

Algeria and Tunisia. Of other minerals which occur, but are little worked,

zinc, lead and antimony are found in Algeria, lead and manganese in Cape

Colony, plumbago in Sierra Leone.

The imports from foreign countries into Africa consist chiefly of

manufactured goods, varying in character according to the development of

the different countries in civilization. In Egypt, Algeria and South Africa

they include most of the necessaries and luxuries of civilized life,

manufactured cotton and woollen goods, especially the former, taking the

first place, but various food stuffs, metal goods, coal and miscellaneous

articles being also included. In tropical Africa, and generally where few

Europeans have settled, the great bulk of the imports consists as a rule of

cotton goods, articles for which there is a constant native demand.

No continent has in the past been so lacking in means of communication as

Africa, and it was only in the last decade

Development of means of communication.

of the 19th century that decided steps were taken to remedy these defects.

The African rivers, with the exception of the middle Congo and its

affluents, and the middle course of the three other chief rivers, are

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