Economic Development in Rhodesia and Nyasaland

Economic Development in Rhodesia and Nyasaland

Economic Development in Rhodesia and Nyasaland

Economic Development in Rhodesia and Nyasaland

Excerpt

September 3rd, 1953, marks the beginning of a new chapter in the history of Central Africa. On that date the Order in Council bringing into being the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland was promulgated. However, the mere creation of a new political entity of this kind does not break the continuity of development and the new chapter will not be distinct from the old. Now, therefore, is a good time to make some study of the past economic history of these territories and to attempt an assessment of their present position.

It is hoped that this book will be of interest to business people and to all whose interest in Central Africa has been quickened by the events of 1953 -- the Federation issue and the celebration of the centenary of the birth of Rhodes -- which have brought the area no small measure of publicity.

Three themes recur constantly throughout this book. They are the need for capital, the need for immigrant skill and experience and the need to raise the low productivity of the African. In the African continent low incomes provide little margin for investment. A greater rate of progress is dependent on investment from outside, always with the proviso that such investment must lead eventually to increased earnings abroad if development is to pay its way. But, important as it is, capital alone is not enough. Immigration is necessary to add to the comparatively meagre stock of skills (including professional and managerial skills) which the three territories possess. The problem of raising the productivity of the African can be tackled in a number of ways; by raising the proportion of capital with which he works, by training and by better organization. The whole process is assisted if there is a background of progress in education, health and general . . .

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