Home HISTORY Methods Used By The Colonialist to Ensure Constant Supply Of  Labourers During...

Methods Used By The Colonialist to Ensure Constant Supply Of  Labourers During Colonial Economy

Methods Used By The Colonialist to Ensure Constant Supply Of  Labourers During Colonial Economy WHY DID BRITAIN SUCCEED IN MERCANTILE TRADE? With vivid examples explain the reasons for the fall of Portuguese rule in east Africa. Explain the reasons for the abolition of Slave Trade HISTORY FORM ONE REVIEW QUESTIONS WITH ANSWERS HISTORY FORM THREE REVIEW WHY BRITAIN SUCCEEDED IN MERCANTILE TRADE? Why did the company rule failed in Africa

Methods Used By The Colonialist to Ensure Constant Supply Of  Labourers During Colonial Economy

Colonial economy refers to the system of production and consumption which were introduced in the colonies by the colonialist in order to fulfill their economic demand such as raw-materials, markets, area for investment as well as area for settlement

Colonial economy was built in Africa over a span of years after establishment of colonial political control.  In this case the colonial economy was introduced through several ways such as creation method, destruction method and preservation method example of colonial economy are like agricultural economy, industry, mining and commercial economy particularly in the 19th century.(Odhiambo, 1977)

Colonial labour, this refers to the workers who was part and parcel in the production of colonial demands such as cash crops, the people work in agriculture, mining, industry, and commercial activities.and it categorized into contract labour and migrant labour

Contract labour , this is the kind of workers who signed the contract with the colonialist with the interest of working in the colonial system

Migrant labour, this was the kind of workers who moved from one area of production to another area example from Tanga to Morogoro (Koponen,1996)

The stabilization of labour in Germans and British in the colonial East African economy was passed the following mechanisms.

Land alienation; the native African people were forced to shift from their home fertile land to un-productive land this resulted to the stabilization of labour when the African people were not producing any production due to poor land where they were sited and left their productive land purposely for the production of the materials needed by the colonialist

Such as cash crops for the colonial interest example the Usambara region escaped the government control because the DOAG had concessionary rights there and African leader claimed vast un occupied areas.  Thus they keep on supplying the labour to ensure constant supply of food to their families and homes.(Cohen, 1978)


Monetization Introduction; the use of money was surprisingly rarely before 1890’s soon after the Germans gave monetization high priority paying their employees in cash and gradually and demanding that tax to be paid back in special and not in kind.

In 1900’s the case was currently more accessible in half of each region.  In the north-East coin were the normal currency in Shambaa market, Machame market Chagga and Maasai.  This encouraged them to supply labour with the interest of getting money.  Hence the stabilization of labour.(Illife, 1979)

Taxation were introduced; The tax could not be collected in cash in most parts of Kilimanjaro.  In 1898 while in the remote Mbulu area as late as 1906 a rupee were replaced on a stone in the house for fear that it might sink into the ground.

In 1903 coin were current even where in Kilimatinde district except remote Usandawe example of tax are heart tax, head tax and matiti tax. In this case the people of Africa they keep on working to the colonial infrastructure so as to get money for paying tax to the colonial government.(Koponen, 1996)

Forced labour; During the Germany colonial system the East African people were forced to work especially during the railway construction in East-Africa.  In 1891 the DOAG undertook to build a line inland from Tanga through the project plantation area around Usambara to Kilimanjaro and possibly Lake Victoria.

The Tanga line was built slowly and with much forced labour.  They are forcing every one to work without pay neither wages nor food.  Hence the method to stabilize the labourers in colonial East Africa (Koponen, 1996)


Political compulsion to secure farm labour.  Each settler entering Usambara in the late 1890’s was allocated several villages whose headmen had to provide a fixed number of workers each day.

This system helped to discredit Kilindi rule and include Kingashi to abdicate in 1902 for fear of assassination.  Hence the stabilization of labours in East African colony.(Odhiambo, 1977)

Low wages payment; in 1907 the district officers imposed a solution by issuing each shamba with a card obliging him to work for European for thirty days every four months at a fixed wage.  On pain of being conscripted for public works example in Lushoto district earned shilling 20 for thirty days work and local workers only 9-10 shilling.

Methods Used By The Colonialist To Ensure Constant Supply Of  Labourers During Colonial Economy

Card system; this system was quickly spreaded for they satisfied both employers and administrators.  The government tacitly accepted one in Morogoro which was based on an arrangement between the planters and the district office.

 Handeni on the other hand government forbades a system whereby Akidas applied laborers who had to work until they provided substitutes.  Hence the mechanism to stabilize labour in East Africa-colonial economy (Cohen, 19780)

Migrant Labour; In stabilizing labour forces, Germany created different Labour Reserves that were used to ensure labour supply to the colonial farms.  Example Kigoma Region were selected to be a labour reserve.

Laborers were taken simply to the farms when the colonial master were in need of them.  Also this, helped in discouraging resistance among Africans toward Germany colonialists.

Registration of workers and trade unions in East Africa this goes hand with hand with the introduction of SILABU by the British in Tanganyika that stands for sisal labour Bureau specially in Morogoro as well as in Kenya there was EASU which stands for labour trade union in East Africa.  Both these ensured the constant supply of labour to the colonial government.  Hence labour stabilization in East Africa (Shillington, 1995)


Through manufactured goods importation, this includes the luxury goods as well as clothes.  Due to this sense East African people they were ready to work in the colonial government with the interest of getting money to by such manufactured goods which were imported in the country by the colonialist.  Hence the mechanism to stabilize the labour in the colonial East African Economy (Shillington, 1995)

Introduction of western education (colonial education).  The skilled labour to work in the color job were maintained or obtained when the colonial education were provided.  This skilled labour were employed lower sectors like clerk and messengers to work on behalf of the colonial master in the colonial economy

Example these skilled labour were trained in schools that were established by them such as Tabora boys (Tabora).  Hence the mechanism to stabilize labours in British and German colonial East African Economy.(Illife, 1979)

Despite of the fact that slave trade was abolished by then but slavery was still existing in the entire colonies due to the push and pull factors.  These East African labour was not easily to escape from this issue of becoming labourers such as land alienation, low wages- payment, forced labour, migrant labour as well asl introduction of colonial education at all.


  1. Hello just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The text in your article seem to be
    running off the screen in Ie. I’m not sure if this is a
    formatting issue or something to do with browser compatibility but I thought I’d post to let you know.
    The design look great though! Hope you get the issue resolved
    soon. Cheers


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here