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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Wartime Forest Energy Policy and Practice in British West Africa: Social and Economic Impact on the Labouring Classes, 1939-1945
Author:Cline-Cole, Reginald A.ISNI
Periodical:Africa: Journal of the International African Institute
Geographic terms:English-speaking Africa
West Africa
Sierra Leone
Subjects:energy resources
World War II
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
History and Exploration
Economics and Trade
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/1161298
Abstract:The recent resurgence of interest in the impact of World War II on African populations has, to date, neglected the theme of forest energy (firewood and charcoal) production, consumption and exchange. This needs to be rectified, for several reasons: 1) wood fuel accounted for the lion's share of wartime forestry output by volume and value, prompting 2) an unprecedented degree of intensity in, and variety of, State emergency intervention in wood fuel 'markets' which had 3) important equity implications. This article examines the dynamics and consequences of crisis management in colonial forestry during the years 1939-1945. It evaluates wartime forest energy policies and practices in British West Africa, with special reference to their 'invisible' social consequences. The regional political, economic and military context of forest energy activity is first summarized. This is followed by two case studies, which assess policy impacts on the labouring classes in the Sierra Leone colony peninsula and the Jos Plateau tin mines in northern Nigeria. The main aim of these studies is to show how war-induced demands on subsistence products like firewood and charcoal weighed inordinately heavily on the poor. Even those who belonged to sectors of society which benefited from preferential treatment in the allocation of scarce supplies of consumer products were not spared. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French.