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Title: Educating the middlemen : a political and economic history of statutory cocoa marketing in Nigeria, 1936-1947
Author: Deutsch, Jan-Georg
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 1990
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This thesis attempts to describe the evolution of a single economic institution in Nigeria: The Nigerian Cocoa Marketing Board. The Board was set up in 1947 in order to control the buying and selling of cocoa and to regulate the activities of cocoa traders and buying firms. Such a narrow focus is justified on the grounds that the development of cocoa marketing institutions in Nigeria epitomises an important aspect of the development of the Nigerian political economy between the 1930s and 1950s. When war broke out in 1939, the Ministry of Food assumed control over the external marketing trade of all major Nigerian export commodities, including cocoa. The responsibility for the cocoa control scheme was subsequently transferred to the Colonial Office. Already in 1941, the Colonial Office and the West African governments, including the Nigerian government, began to discuss whether it would be desirable to continue or terminate statutory marketing control after the war. The decision to establish the Nigerian Cocoa Marketing Board was largely taken because the Colonial Office and the West African governments believed that statutory marketing provided a convenient administrative solution for the recurrent political conflicts in the 1930s cocoa trade. These conflicts revolved around the strained commercial relationship between European trading firms and African traders and reached a climax in the West African 1937/38 cocoa hold-up crisis. The main argument in this thesis is that, at the end of the war, the colonial authorities, parts of the nationalist movement in Nigeria, and a number of smaller African and European trading firms came to the conclusion that a return to the 1930s 'free trade' regime and its conflicts would not suit their long-term political and economic interests. This implicit consensus allowed the Colonial Office to surmount strong opposition from American, British and West African trading interests against the scheme in the politically sensitive post-war period.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral