Credit in early nineteenth century West African trade

British statistics show that between c. 1810 and c. 1850 at the coast the import of various manufactured staples increased by factors from at least 3 to as much as 50. Investigated is how the large increase in the volume of trade on the coast was financed in the absence of banking procedures. On the Senegal and Gambia and the Niger delta traditional 18th century European credit to African brokers in goods continued. On the Gold Coast and at Sierra Leone and Lagos, however, a new class of African as well European local importers emerged, able to secure credit from European exporters. But it was the old system which seems to have permitted the greater expansion of credit. By the second half of the century both systems were under strain and leading to conflicts over debts and jurisdiction. Ultimately both were replaced by the European trading houses working with paid agents in the interior trade, recruited from the new merchant class of Sierra Leone, the Gold Coast, Lagos. Notes, summary.

Title: Credit in early nineteenth century West African trade
Author: Newbury, C.W.
Year: 1972
Periodical: The Journal of African History
Volume: 13
Issue: 1
Pages: 81-95
Language: English
Geographic term: West Africa
External link: https://www.jstor.org/stable/180968
Abstract: British statistics show that between c. 1810 and c. 1850 at the coast the import of various manufactured staples increased by factors from at least 3 to as much as 50. Investigated is how the large increase in the volume of trade on the coast was financed in the absence of banking procedures. On the Senegal and Gambia and the Niger delta traditional 18th century European credit to African brokers in goods continued. On the Gold Coast and at Sierra Leone and Lagos, however, a new class of African as well European local importers emerged, able to secure credit from European exporters. But it was the old system which seems to have permitted the greater expansion of credit. By the second half of the century both systems were under strain and leading to conflicts over debts and jurisdiction. Ultimately both were replaced by the European trading houses working with paid agents in the interior trade, recruited from the new merchant class of Sierra Leone, the Gold Coast, Lagos. Notes, summary.