chapter  3
British colonialism, economics and spatial structures
Pages 18

Liberal and dependency characterizations of the state in colonial Africa tend to attribute excessive weight to colonial government offi cials. To be sure, an overwhelming majority of those who participated in the colonial policy implementation process in French colonies were directly employed by the metropolitan colonial state in France or a local colonial state in Africa. However, this was not the case in British colonial Africa, where private entities, particularly chartered companies, played a critical role in the colonial policy implementation process. Thus, to fully address questions relating to planning ideology and practice in colonial Africa, it is necessary to gain some appreciation of the activities of private entities. Prominent in this regard are those activities that were designed to promote the growth and development of commerce, plantation agriculture and mining. This chapter proposes to address the following specifi c questions. What was the nature and magnitude of the collaboration between private entities and the colonial state in economic development in British colonial Africa? How did the economic development initiatives of the colonial state and private entities affect the spatial structure of British colonies in Africa?