Gezira: A Story of Development in the Sudan

Gezira: A Story of Development in the Sudan

Gezira: A Story of Development in the Sudan

Gezira: A Story of Development in the Sudan

Excerpt

When I first came to know the Sudan between the two world wars and visited that strange plain of the Gezira, made stranger by the gleaming geometrical pattern of the irrigation channels, I was deeply impressed by the need to spread knowledge of this unique achievement in economic partnership between a colonial government, a commercial company and what had been a very poor, semi-nomadic peasantry. I even went so far as to start collecting material in the hope that I might do something to spread this knowledge myself. Fortunately I soon realized that the task lay far outside my economic competence and was, indeed, the kind of book that must first be writte from the inside. After the war, with the development of the emotional recoil from 'colonialism' and 'economic imperialism' and of both the Communist attack and the Communist alternative, the need for such a study became more pressing. It was, therefore, most fortunate that Mr. Gaitskell was persuaded to accept a Research Fellowship at Nuffield College and so detach himself long enough from the claims that press upon a man of his experience in order to write this book.

Very few words are needed from the Editor of the Series about the importance of the subject. This is because Mr. Gaitskell has done more than write the much needed history of the Scheme, based on the records of the Sudan Plantations Syndicate and of his own personal experience. His record is illuminated by being related throughout to what is perhaps the greatest problem of our day -- how the wealthy and economically experienced nations can help the poorer peoples of the world to develop their own resources without either economic or political subordination.

Mr. Gaitskell's experience has qualified him very fully to supply the growing demand for information about the Scheme. There was little that he did not know about it. From Winchester and New College he went out to the Sudan as a field executive in 1923 and worked his way up through the Finance Headquarters to Chief Field Executive, Assistant Manager and, from 1945 to 1950, General Manager. From 1950 to 1952 . . .

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