By J.Forbes Munro
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Extra info for Britain in Tropical Africa, 1880–1960: Economic Relationships and Impact
The weight of demand for land for European-owned agricultural enterprises fell mainly on Central and East Africa where, partly as a consequence of initially lower levels of African agricultural commercialisation than in \Vt'st Africa, colonial governments were more compliant. In Southern Rhodesia and Kenya in particular, administrators took an early decision to encourage and promote the settlement of white farmers from South Africa and Britain. How the land came to be divided into distinctive European and African areas, with legal definition of land rights becoming increasingly based upon racial origins, is of course a central theme in the historiography of these territories [125; 118; 123; 94; 170].
Their ability to undertake practical functions rested upon some degree of tacit recognition of legitimacy by elements within the African communities. The need to secure and maintain such collaboration placed political constraints upon colonial administrations . This could easily impart a 'conservative' bias to economic and social policies, with the creation of systems of indirect rule taking precedence over, and indeed questioning the desirability of, the promotion of economic and social change in the rural areas .
More efficient production of export commodities, faster economic growth and higher per capita incomes in colonial Africa were likely to lead to an increase in demand for British manufactures and even create conditions conducive to industrial investment in Tropical Africa. Such indeed were among the results of post-war economic planning, at least up to the mid-1950s. However, one may be confusing consequence with intention, and placing too great an emphasis on the attraction of inward private investment within the strategies of the 38 colonial governments.