anm document

Affaires Économiques. Recensement des véhicles, différentes cercles (1927-1934)
in ANM 1 Q 284 fonds recents

© 1999 by Jim Jones, Ph.D.

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NOTE: 1927 appears to be the first year that the French made any systematic attempt to control road traffic in the Soudan. That was also the year that they issued the first road map for the Soudan. Their census of vehicles listed every vehicle in the colony, even ones that hadn't worked for the past year. (See the census for Kayes and Ségou, for example)


Recensement des voitures automobiles et motocyclettes
dans le Cercle de Bougouni au 8 Septembre 1927

There were two 1-ton trucks and a single camionette (light truck) in the Cercle de Bougouni.


Commandant du Cercle de San to Gouverneur du Soudan Française,
telegram-letter n°224 (September 1927)

There were 25 vehicles in the Cercle de San: 5 cars, 12 trucks, and 8 light trucks. Attya Frères (6) and Maison Vendenheim (5) were the biggest fleet owners.


Commandant du Cercle de Ségou, "Registre de déclaration des voitures automobiles de deuxième catégorie existant dans le cercle de Ségou canton dudit, département du Soudan Français ouvert de ____" (October 20, 1927)

There were 19 automobiles in the canton of Ségou, owned by the following people:

Name Job Nationality Driver
(if different from owner)
Marcel Barbarin merchant French
Elmrya Buchault missionary French
Frederic Cotterets merchant French
Marcel Cloué mechanic for Travaux Publics French
CIRCONNIG agricultural firm French Bakary Diagourago
CIRCONNIG agricultural firm French Yoro Diallo
CIRCONNIG agricultural firm French Yoro Diallo
Dèves et Chaumet merchant French Closy (Swiss)
Joseph Galed merchant Lebanese
Asiat Harbouck merchant Lebanese
Sessine Jabre merchant Lebanese
Marcel Millard mechanic French
Peyrissac et Cie. merchant French "pas de chauffeur" (no driver)
Vézia merchant French
André Redoulez missionary French
Service des Textiles public service French Sibiri Coulibaly
Service des Textiles public service French Barthaburu
Service des Textiles public service French
Travaux Publics French Cloué

Voitures de tourisme et motocylclettes: The Société Technique du Niger (M. de Cassecaude) had a 2-cylinder 1921 RN (Belgian) motocycle with sidecar. M. Frederic Cotterets had a 4-cylinder 1925 RN motocycle. Marcel Lacascade, Administrateur des Colonies, had a Renault automobile.

Poids Lourds (trucks). The Maison Maurel et Prom had a truck that was driven by Marcel Cot. The Société Technique du Niger, a merchant firm, had a truck driven by de Cassecaude. Lioun Diallo, a merchant, had two trucks driven by Akro Magatte (an English subject) and Mahmadou Kanté (from Kayes, class of 1923). The Société d'Entreprise Africaines, another merchant firm, had a truck driven by someone whose name looks like "Chenez."

Brahima N'Diaye, a Ségou merchant, owned 2 trucks and employed Mamadou Sosso as a driver. Frederic Cotterets, another Ségou commercant, owned 1 truck. The agricultural enterprise CIRCONNIG owned 4 trucks, and employed Bakary Diégonaga as a driver. Joseph Daker, a Lebanese merchant, owned 1 truck. The Maison Deves et Chaumet, a merchant firm, owned 1 truck.


Other cercles

Similar reports from other cercles list the vehicles operating in their jurisdiction in 1927.

In Sikasso, there were four vehicles. The Commandant du Cercle de Sikasso had a car, and the firm of Feller et Meier had 3 cars.

In Koutiala, there were 2 vehicles. The Commandant du Cercle de Koutiala had a car and the Association Cotonnière Coloniale de Koutiala had a 9cv Peugeot Modele 177B.

There were a total of 54 vehicles in Kayes, including 13 trucks, 29 cars, 11 light trucks and 1 motorcycle. Ets. Peyrissac had 7 vehicles, while the Service des Travaux Publics had 4.

Agricultural entreprises in Kayes were listed separately. The Société Anonyme des Cultures de Diakanapé had 4 cars. M. Bourges, a planter at Ambidédi, had a single Citroen. The Plantations Delage Kayes had 2 cars and 2 trucks. Germain Delmas Samé had a car and a camionette.

In Macina, there was a single car and one light truck.


État des voitures automobiles et des motocyclettes
recensées dans le cercle de Bamako
(October 1927)

This is a multi-page document that lists data on motor vehicles in Soudan. It gives the license plate number, owner's name, town of residence (all but 6 were Bamako), vehicle manufacturer, type (truck, torpedo, touring, etc) and horsepower (not CV). There were a total of 340 vehicles on the list.

The manufacturers whose names appear on the list include Ford (94 vehicles), Dodge (16), REO (11), Chrysler (1), Buick (1), Overland (28), and Citrõen (39). Other manufacturers included Unic (2), Panhard-Levasseur, Renault, Peugeot, De Dion, and Delahaye. There were even two 9-hp Harley-Davidson motorcyles with sidecar owned by M. Rutili at Koulouba (license n°427F), and M. Marret Dayet at Kati (license n°405F). There was also one 7-hp Indian motorcycle owned by M. Siossat of Bamako (license n°310F).

There were a few owners with African names. This table shows that they owned:

Name Type of vehicle Horsepower
Daravé Souleymane Herstal motorcycle 2.5
Alexandre du Hadad Dodge tourist 18
Kalim Birahima Ford tourist 14
Bouzaid Hadifé Overland tourist 14
Jean Rachel Dodge tourist 18
Jean Rachel Berliet truck 14
Chichignond (firm) Ford 1-ton 14
Chichignond (firm) Ford trucks 18
Chichignond (firm) Ford truck 14
Chichignond (firm) Fiat tourist 10
Sidiki Koulibaly Ford truck 14
Papa N'Diaye Ford 1-ton 14
Sounkalo Konaté Ford tourist 14
Amadou Babaly Berliet light truck n
Mademba Lamine Ford truck 14
Sangaré Diarra Ford truck 14
R. Mademba REO truck 20
Oumar Babaty Ford TT 14

Note on Public/Private Vehicle ownership: 78 of the registered vehicles belonged to the government (Service Locale, Briqueterie (brick factory), TSF, STIN, École Primaire Supérieur, etc). Most of the rest belonged to various commercial enterprises or were private vehicles owned by government officials.


Recensement des voitures et motocyclettes au 1 Janvier 1928, État n°1

There were 198 "voitures de tourisme," 215 "camions et camionettes" (128 trucks and 87 light trucks - see next item), no "cars et autobuses," and 45 "motocyclettes" in French Soudan.


Recensement des voitures automobiles et motocyclettes
dans le Cercle de Mopti au 1 Janvier 1928

There were 5 light trucks, 3 trucks, and 15 cars, mostly Fords. In addition to the usual business owners, there were vehicles owned by Amadou Sall, Bousaid Bechar, Mamadou Daffe, the Christian Missionary Alliance, Salim Michel, Attya Kalil, Chekri Abdoul, Younes Ibrahim, and others.


Chef du Service des Travaux Publics, "État numerique par catégorie, par marque et par pays d'origine des voitures automobiles immatriculés ou enregistrées dans la Colonie du Soudan Français à la date du 1 Janvier 1928" (Bamako, January 17, 1928)

There were more American vehicles (223) than French (207), Italian (20, all Fiat), English (2) or Belgian (5). There were 128 trucks and 87 light trucks.

Of the 83 American trucks, there were 62 Fords, 14 REOs, 1 Overland, 5 Dodge Brothers and 1 Graham Brothers. Of American motorcycles, there were 2 Harley-Davidsons, 1 Indian, 2 Moto-Ner- A-Car, 1 Ewans Pewer, 1 Steward, 1 American Excelsior.

Of the French vehicles, there were 51 CitroČns, 22 Renaults, 16 Berliets, 15 Peugeots and 15 De Dions, 14 Panhard et Levasseurs, 13 Delayes, 10 Monet Goyon motorcycles and 8 Automoto motorcycles.

Among French trucks, there were 11 Delayes and 7 Berliets out of a total of 44 French trucks. There was also 1 Italian Fiat truck.


Recensement des voitures automobiles et motocyclettes au 1 Janvier 1929

Country of origin Cars Trucks Light trucks Motorcycles Total
France 131 101 96 41 369
USA 114 121 47 8 290
Italy 17 2 4 n 23
Other n/a n/a n/a 12 12
Total 262 224 147 61 694


Chef du Service des Travaux Publics, "État numerique par catégorie, par marque et par pays d'origine des voitures automobiles immatriculés ou enregistrées dans la Colonie du Soudan Français à la date du 1 Janvier 1930"

Country of origin Cars Trucks Light trucks Motorcycles Total
France 180 143 125 47 495
USA 146 151 57 13 367
Italy 19 2 4 0 25
Other 1 0 0 13 14
Total 345 (346) 296 186 73 900 (901)


État numerique par catégorie, par marque et par pays d'origine
des voitures automobiles immatriculés ou enregistrées
dans la Colonie du Soudan Français à la date du 31 Decembre 1930)

Country Cars Trucks Light trucks motorcycles Buses Total
France 203 178 117 62 3 563
USA 92 128 60 1 0 281
Italy 21 2 0 0 0 23
Other 1 1 0 23 0 25
Total 317 309 177 86 3 892

Note: 13 trucks were listed as "camions à gazogène."


Recensement des voitures automobiles et motocyclettes au 1 Janvier 1932

There were 357 cars, 557 trucks and light trucks, 8 buses and 108 motorcycles in Soudan as of the end of 1931. Total: 930.


Chef du Service de Travaux Publics to
Gouverneur du Soudan Française, letter n°145TP (Bamako, May 26, 1932)

This letter offered recommendations for vehicle maintainance. The Chef du Service de Travaux Publics thought that all vehicles should be retired after 60,000 kilometers.