Page:Statesman's Year-Book 1899 American Edition.djvu/537

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BRITISH CENTRAL AFRICA 193

CENTRAL AFRICA PROTECTORATE (BRITISH).

The British Central Africa Protectorate, constituted as such on May 14, 1891, lies along the southern and western shores of Lake Nyasa, and extends towards the Zambezi. It is administered under the Foregn Office by H.M. Commissioner, the cost of administration being met by a grant in aid from the Imperial Government supplemented by the local revenue. The area of the Protectorate is 42,217 square miles, divided into twelve districts, in each of which are two or more administrative officials. In 1897 the popula- tion consisted of 300 Europeans (260 British), 263 Indians, and 844,995 natives, the native population being estimated from the number of huts according to the collectors* returns, three persons being counted to each hut. The chief town is Blantyre, in the Shire Highlands, with a population of about 100 Europeans and 6,000 natives. In the same region, or on the Shire river, are Zomba (the seat of the Administration), Chiromo, Port Herald, Chikwawa, Katunga, Fort Anderson, Fort Lister, Mpimbi, Liwonde, Fort Sharpe, and other settlements ; on Lake Nyasa are Fort Johnston, Fort Maguire, Livingstonia, Rifu, Kotakota, Bandawe, Nkata, Likoma, Deep Bay, and Karonga. The Shire ])rovince contains most of the European population of the Protectorate. Good roads are being made in all directions, and life and property are safe. Six missionary societies are at work. The climate, though not salubrious for European settlers in general, is healthier than the greater part of tropical Africa. Within the Shire province coffee planting has been greatly extended within the last few years, about 2,000 acres having been cleared and planted in the year 1896-97. The crop for 1897 is estimated at over 400 tons. Rice is grown to perfection, and the cultivation of wheat, recently introduced, promises to be successful. Oats and barley thrive on the uplands, where Merino sheep and Natal ponies seem also likely to prosper. The trade ports are Port Herald and Chiromo (Lower Shire), and Kotakota (Lake Nyasa). The trade for the year ended March 31, 1897, was : Imports, 78,655Z. ; exports, 23,299Z. ; 1898, imports, 86,428Z. ; exports, 27,437^. The chief imports were cotton goods, machinery, provisions, hardware, and agri- cultural implements ; the chief exports, ivory and coffee (22,402Z.). The revenue for 1897-98 amounted to 24,538Z. (8,966Z. from customs); the expenditure to 65,715Z.

The armed force necessary to maintain order and to check the slave trade consists of a corps of 185 Sikhs from the Indian Army, and 800 native trained troops. There are also 200 district police. This force has English officers and Sikh and native non-commissioned officers. An armament of artillery, with mountain guns, has been supplied by the Imperial Government. There- is also a naval force on the rivers Zambezi and Shire and on Lake Nyasa, consisting of the five gunboats with English officers and seamen. There are five naval posts at intervals from Chinde at the mouth of the Zambezi, tc Deep Bay on the northwest coast of Lake Nyasa.

Communication with the coast is by H.M. gunboats and by the river steamers of the African Lakes Company, Sharrer's Zambezi Traffic Company, and the African International Flotilla Company. These vessels meet at Chinde- the ocean-going steamers of various British, 'German, and Portuguese Com- panies. Chinde is situated on the only navigable mouth of the Zambezi, and at this port the Portuguese Government has granted a small piece of land, called the ' British Concession,' where goods in transit for British Central- Africa may be landed and re-shipped free of customs duty, and in addition a large area for residential purposes styled 'the Extra Concession.'

A joint Anglo-German Delimitation Commission assembled on Lake- Nyasa in June, 1898, and proceeded to definitely mark out the boundary

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