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An Economic History of Kenya and Uganda 1800–1970 by Anne King

By Anne King

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Extra resources for An Economic History of Kenya and Uganda 1800–1970

Sample text

But it would be foolish to attempt to estimate the size of the decline. Estimates by demographers based on inadequate information have a tendency to be proved utterly wrong when fresh evidence comes to light. At present all we can say is that there seems to have been a downwards trend in the population from the 1890s until the middle of the 1920s. Other more detailed observations of population trends support this. In the early 1930s S. H. Fazan, a District Officer in Kenya, tried to work out the history of population in the Kikuyu Province.

Between 1916 and 1921 the emigration was particularly high from Fort Hall, probably as a result of the severity of famine and epidemic in this area. 75 per cent between 1921 and 1931. Clearly if the figures for the men had been available the decreases in the size of population in the Reserves would probably have been considerably greater, as it was they who died during the war and who suffered most from the diseases which followed. Unfortunately for historians, such detailed investigations into population trends were not carried out in other areas at the time.

The London officials hoped to prevent land speculation such as had been experienced in other areas of white settlement, but failed to do so. In the first decade of this century there was a great deal of argument, between London on one side and the officials on the spot on the other. By 1915 it was the settlers who won all the points; large concessions of high-quality land on 999-year leases with little obligation to the colonial authorities to develop the land had been made. By 1915, 8242 square miles of land had been alienated on behalf of about one thousand white settlers, but it was very unevenly divided; 20 per cent was held by five individuals or groups, Delamere, the two Coles, Grogan and the East African Syndicate.

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