Page:Statesman's Year-Book 1913.djvu/715

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593
COMMERCE—COMMUNICATIONS—MONEY AND CREDIT

hides and skins the native produce includes barley, millet (dhurra), wheat, gesho (which serves as a substitute for hops), and tobacco, but not in sufficient quantities for export. Manufacturing industries are in a similar state. The forests abound in valuable trees and rubber. Iron is abundant in some districts and is manufactured into spears, knives, hatchets, &c. Placer gold mining and washing are carried on in many districts; coal is known to exist in the country; silver, copper, and sulphur have been found.

Commerce.

The value of exports and imports through Jibuti in 1910 was about 950,147 £., and in 1911, 818,030 £., and through Garabela and Western Abyssinia to the Sudan in 1911, 116,432 £., besides British East Africa, Zeila, and the Italian Colonies trade. The exports by Jibuti were estimated at about 469,484 £., and through Gambela and Western Abyssinia, 75,509 £. The exports consisted mainly of hides and skins, coffee, wax, ivory, civet, and native butter. The imports comprised grey shirting (abujedid), cotton goods, arms and ammunition, provisions, liquors, railway material and petroleum. The imports are chiefly from England, France, India, Italy and the United States. The direct imports from Abyssinia into Great Britain in 1911 amounted to the value of 8,173 £.; the domestic exports from Great Britain to Abyssinia amounted in 1911 to 2,441 £.

Abyssinia has commercial treaties with Great Britain (1897) for 'most favoured nation' treatment; with Italy (1897), terminable on six months' notice; with the United States (1903) for 10 years, then subject to one year's notice; with Germany and Austria-Hungary (1905) for 10 years, then subject to one years notice; with France (1908) for 10 years, and then subject to a year's notice.

Communications.

Roads in Abyssinia are mere tracks, and transport is effected by means of mules, pack-horses, donkeys, and, in some places, camels. In the capital and its vicinity a few miles of metalled road have been constructed. There is a railway of a metre gauge from the port of Jibuti in French Somaliland to Deré Dawa (about 25 miles from Harrar) in the south-east of Abyssinia, 187 miles. In January, 1909, a new company was formed to complete the line to Adis Ababa, taking over the portion completed on French territory. The survey for the new line has been made and the section to the Hawash River, 150 miles from Deré Dawa, and the same distance from Adis Ababa, is expected to be finished by the autumn of 1913. There are telegraph lines (1,056 miles) connecting Adis Ababa with Harrar, with Sidamo, with Jibuti in French Somaliland, and with Massawa in Eritrea. Telephone lines connect Adis Ababa with Harrar, also with Gore and Gambela (in the west), Jimma and Sharada (south-west), Dessie (north), and Debra Tabor and Gojam, and with Ankober, and Asmara with Adua and Barromeida.

Money and Credit.

The Bank of Abyssinia, with authorised capital of 500,000 £. and paid-up capital of 125,000 £., has its head office at Adis Ababa and agencies at Harrar, Deré Dawa, Gore, Saiyu, Gambela and Dessie. By its constitution the Governor of the National Bank of Egypt is its President, and its governing body sits at Cairo. The current coin of Abyssinia is the Maria Theresa dollar, but a new coinage (coined at Paris) has been put in circulation, with the Menelik dollar for the standard coin. This new coin, the talari, or dollar, worth about 2 s., weighs 28.075 grammes, .835 fine. It has nominally the same value as the Maria Theresa dollar, but in the capital is disliked, and in some places is not taken at all. The Bank of Abyssinia

has introduced a large stock of Menelik piastres (16 to the dollar). Other

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