Rapports Commerciales du Cercle de Gao (1914-1919)
|© 1999 by Jim Jones, Ph.D.|
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European merchants brought 40 tons of millet from Ségou to sell in Gao, while Hausas took cattle to Nigeria. M. Grandjean obtained 20 tons of millet from various river stations while M. Tourneux brought another 20 tons. Deves et Chaumet bought it all and resold it at 500 francs/ton. There was no rice available.
The Niger River was low, preventing the grain trade from operating. Deves et Chaumet and the Société Moyen Niger were unable to import grain, so their sales were limited to existing stocks of beads and cloth. There were no other European merchants in Gao.
All trade was nearly zero. Deves et Chaumet closed up because their representative, M. Nord, was drafted. The Société Moyen Niger was still open, but had no merchandise. There was no grain to trade, and even the Hausas didn't come to buy cattle.
Trade resumed slightly in November 1914 after the grain harvest was completed. There were also some sheep sales.
African merchants received European cloth from Kayes by means of the parcel post service (colis postaux), which was cheaper than sending it by river barge. Two European merchants, Mercier and Grandjean, traded guinée cloth for produce.
European trade was nil. The Société Moyen Niger imported a few things - wine, liquor, champagne and aperatifs. Deves et Chaumet sent Africans to Timbuktu to purchase European goods because they were unwilling to accept the transport risks.
The problems in Gourma cut communications to the south, stopping all trade via Dori. A single European merchant sold cloth imported by parcel postal. Animal shipments came to a halt.
There was almost no trade. Nearly all of the grain harvest was requisitioned by the government, and the last European merchant had enlisted into the military.
Trade was nil. An epidemic of epizootie stopped animal exports.
The quarantine on the animal trade ended in May 1917.
There were no Europeans in Gao, but one Syrian merchant, Hattien Assef.
The trade in wool and skins was active. Other trade was down because the price of European goods had increased so much.
These are figures for the amount of several export items (in tons) to various destinations from the Cercle de Gao:
|Item||Cercle de Timbuktu||Région du Hoggar|| Région
Adrar des Iforhas
|Région Oulliminden|| Total tons |
| Price |
|paddy raw rice||300||30||70||225||645||90|
Prices in the Gao market:
Mercier was still in Gao, but did very little business. The Commandant du Cercle de Gao called him a "petit boutiquier" instead of a "commer‡ant" and said that his business suffered from lack of capital and lack of initiative.
Trade resumed somewhat, but there were still shortages of cloth which served as the medium of exchange for all other trade.