Les entrepreneurs Duala (ca 1890 - ca 1930)

by Yvette Monga

Doctoral thesis in Lettres

Under the supervision of Marc Michel.

defended on 1996

in Aix-Marseille 1 .

  • Alternative Title

    Duala entrepreneurs (ca 1890- ca 1930)

  • Abstract

    The duala, a small bantu-speaking population group located in coastal cameroon, emerged during the pre-colonial and the colonial periods as a powerful economic force. They lacked the usual forms of wealth, basing their strategy of production in a two-fold system of social networks : one made up of their allies and the other of their dependents. In 1884, germany established a protectorate over cameroon and this eventually resulted in duala middlemen traders being evicted from their role as exclusive brokers in local trade. Cocoa growing then provided an opportunity for the most successful duala merchants to reinvest the material assets previously used in commercial activities in new and lucrative ventures. Thus using land and slaves from trade, the duala opened up in the 1890s large cocoa plantations in the inland regions. In 1907, they expanded their cocoa farms in the tiko lowlands. The expension of duala cocoa enterprises brought about changes in the earlier pattern of land acquisition and the labour relationship between duala planters and their servile workers. Throughout the french mandate period, duala entrepreneurs invested in real estate, academic education, and timber businesses and somehow succeeded in adapting their entrepreneurial skills and strategy to a changing environment by a cunning manipulation of social relations.

  • Abstract

    Les duala de la cote du cameroun font partie de la grande famille linguistique des populations bantu. Ils s'etaient enrichis dans le commerce de traite pendant la periode precoloniale. Apres la perte de leur monopole dans cette activite suite a la colonisation allemande, ils se reconvertirent, au cours des annees 1890, dans la culture du cacao grace a un double systeme de reseau sociaux : celui de leurs allies commerciaux et celui de leurs dependants. Les terres et la main-d'oeuvre servile jadis employes dans le commerce de traite leur fournirent les ressources materielles necessaires a cette reconversion economique. En 1907, ces entrepreneurs locaux possedaient de vastes plantations cacaoyeres dans l'arriere-pays cotier, situees dans les vallees des fleuves moungo, abo, wouri, et dibamba. Profitant de la politique economique coloniale destinee a promouvoir l'agriculture paysanne, les duala etendirent leurs plantations dans la plaine de tiko. Cette expansion s'accompagna d'un changement dans les modes d'acces a la terre et les relations de travail entre les planteurs duala et leurs esclaves domestiques. Plus tard au de la periode du mandat francais, les entrepreneurs duala investiront dans l'immobilier de location, l'exploitation du bois et l'education de leurs enfants en europe. Cette these analyse les dynamiques de transformation et d'adaptation des duala au cours de la periode etudiee.

Consult library

Version is available as a paper


  • Details : 1 vol. (465 f.)
  • Annexes : Bibliogr. f. 426-446

Where is this thesis?

  • Library : Université d'Aix-Marseille (Aix-en-Provence). Service commun de la documentation. Bibliothèque universitaire de lettres et sciences humaines (Fenouillères).
  • Available for PEB
  • Library : Bibliothèque de Recherches Africaines (Paris).
  • Unvailable for PEB
  • Odds : T474
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