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In discussions on the economic changes wrought in Africa under colonial rule, particular interest has attached to the growth of mining, described by Frankel as the ‘touchstone’ of development in the continent.1 It has been seen as one of a group of industries which, ‘for good or ill’, have exercised a powerful influence over Africa’s economic destiny.2 The single most important field for external investment in colonial Africa, mining represents arguably one of the most dramatic examples of the impact of large-scale expatriate enterprise under colonial conditions. Of the countries which experienced this impact, Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) offers a particularly striking example. Within a remarkably short period — little more than a decade — Northern Rhodesia emerged as one of the world’s leading suppliers of copper, a material of growing importance to the industrialised world as the twentieth century progressed. The purpose of this book is to explore the development of the copper mining industry in Northern Rhodesia, from its early stages in the late 1920s until the independence of Zambia in 1964. Its focus is the response of the British colonial state, and of the imperial state to which it was answerable, to this development. It therefore aims to provide a case study of business-government relations under colonial rule in a dynamic and volatile economic sector.3
KeywordsMining Industry Copper Mining Imperial State Colonial Period Colonial Rule
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