Anglo-French Partition of Northern Togo and the Creation of Unequal Ethnic Power Relations, 1914 – 1932
Department of History of the University of Cape Coast, Ghana
This article explores the Anglo-French partition of northern Togoland (former German Togo) after the First World War and its implication for ethnic power relations. Using mostly British archival records, the paper examines the manner in which the British acquired territories in northern Togoland during the Anglo-French partition and argues that the way the British executed the war in northern Togo left them in a disadvantaged position in territorial terms forcing them to ally themselves with the Dagomba to acquire territories. The British used oral narratives of the Dagomba chiefs of Demon, Sunson and Gushiegu to obtain Konkomba villages, which had come under the French by conquest. After acquiring these villages through Dagomba traditions, the British proceeded to re-engineer the entire political and territorial landscape of the area in order to put the Dagomba in a privileged position. This action by the British left the Konkomba landless and politically subordinated to Dagomba rule throughout the colonial and postcolonial period. In general, the article provides insights into how the convergence of European and local interests shaped not only colonial boundaries but also ethnic power relations in Africa.
KonkombaTogolandFirst World WarPositionColonialismEthic Relations