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  • How far were local goods transported by rail in colonial Africa?
    I’m working on a major new project measuring market integration and food markets in tropical Africa and Southeast Asian in the colonial period, and in particular on the integration of grain and salt markets in French West Africa. Though a great deal has been written both about railways and their impact on the one hand […]
  • The contested real estate empire of a colonial Senegalese businessman
    While looking for information on Dakar’s mid-century housing crisis, I came across a little legal story that played out in the pages of the newspaper Paris-Dakar in 1948. This was the year of the death of Alassane N’Dir, a major landowner in Dakar and a prosperous businessman and philanthropist. By the time he died, N’Dir […]
  • Transport of crops to market — a little fact
    In the 1970 world census of agriculture, seven countries asked farmers how they transported their crops to the first point of sale (to a market, or a trader, etc.). All seven countries were reasonably poor (under US$1000 per capita GDP) but it is striking how common transporting crops to market by foot was in the […]

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