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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The PFB railroad, society and culture in rural Katanga (colonial Zaire)
Author:Yelengi, Nkasa T.ISNI
Year:1997
Periodical:Africa: rivista trimestrale di studi e documentazione
Volume:52
Issue:2
Pages:182-211
Language:English
Geographic terms:Congo (Democratic Republic of)
Belgium
Subjects:social change
colonialism
rail transport
Abstract:The Port Francqui-Bukama (PFB) railroad in colonial Zaire was built between 1923 and 1928 by the Compagnie de chemin de fer du Bas-Congo au Katanga (BCK). Its main goal was to link the rich mining province of Katanga to the national port of Matadi. This article examines the impact of the building and operation of the PFB railroad on the rural population of Haut-Lomami District in Kasai Province. It first outlines the BCK's discriminatory policies and the increasing social differentiation in the district, which was reflected in the organization of passenger transportation and the company's education and health care policies. It also discusses the African reaction to racial discrimination. Then it analyses the emergence of cities and towns along the railroad and the advantages associated with this development. As an example, it describes the transformation of Kamina from a small railroad station to a burgeoning rural city. Finally, the article examines the process of acculturation, the growing mobility of the population, and the diffusion of Swahili as a lingua franca, all consequences of the PFB railroad. Notes, ref., sum. in French and Italian.
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