Social Developments in Bakundu during German Colonial Rule in Cameroon: 1884-1914
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German colonial rule in Africa in the late 19th century has often been described by scholars and researchers of African history as exploitative, harsh, brutal, and repressive. Motivated by the aforementioned arguments that look at the negative aspects of German colonial rule; this study sets out to show that, in the pursuance of their diverse colonial motives, the Germans directly or indirectly contributed to the social advancement of the Bakundu people. The Bakundu people, who are found in the present day South West region of Cameroon, have been subject to many external influences since the 18th century that have left a trace in the way they presently think and act, in which their encounter with the Germans stands tall. This encounter brought with it; the construction of roads, the introduction of Western education – and a new form of administration that gave a wider horizon to the people -, as well as the establishment of cash-crop agriculture, which introduced the people to the international market, and so improving their income and living standards. This article thus tries to explore the social developments brought by German colonial rule during their 30 year stay in Bakundu. The realization of the aim of this article is based on a constructivist approach and from diverse documentation. Oral reports from elderly people who, in one way or another, lived through these developments, Archival materials from the National Archives Buea (NAB) plus the results of academic research are the main sources for this work. The exploitation of these sources has concretely presented the activities of the Germans during their stay in Bakundu.
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