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Title: The United Africa Company in the Gold Coast / Ghana, 1920 to 1965
Author: Jones, P. A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2675 656X
Awarding Body: School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London)
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 1983
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Lever Brothers' early interests in the Gold Coast/Ghana, the formation of the United Africa Company and its changing commercial activities throughout the period are examined. The company passed through three phases as the management perceived potential for growth in different sectors of the economy. Relationships with the colonial government and the changing political atmosphere are shown to affect the company's policies. The organisational structure altered and with it the distribution of its activities. Statistical data is used to support the argument. Part I gives a brief survey of the Gold Coast in the 1920s and covers the first phase, an era of market penetration. Intense competition in West African trade culminated in a series of mergers which led to the formation of the United Africa Company (U. A. C. ) in 1929. Trade was in the export of cocoa and the import of general merchandise. A close network of small trading stations developed. Part II outlines the second phase, from 1930 to 1945, characterised by consolidation, U. A. C. was the largest trading organisation in the Gold Coast and political tensions developed. Head office exerted financial control and policies concentrated on expansion of turnover. Wasteful inter-company competition was slowly eliminated and the country was divided into districts. Some specialisation began but the major activities were still in cocoa trading and general merchandise. Part III deals with the third phase, from 1945 to 1965, one of redeployment. Overall policies were dictated by considerations of return on capital employed. Intense criticism from the government and nationalists affected the company's decisions. The role of specialist merchant and industrialist was adopted. A strongly vertical organisation developed typical of a multinational company and this was reflected in the distribution of offices and branches. Partly summarises U. A. C. 's commercial activities within the country's economy.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available