Suggestions for Research Projects
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In 1948, the Gouverneur du Soudan Français criticized this approach, and in particular, the use of the tarif degressive. Tarif translates to "freight rate" (cost per weight to ship something), but what exactly does degressive mean?
Assignment: Write a paper on the rate policy followed by the railroad. Note historical changes, particularly in 1904 and 1923 when major construction projects were completed, and after World War II when the railroads of French West Africa were combined.
However, capital was always in short supply, so improvements were not uniform throughout the valley. For instance, a chart of transport times for goods from various places along the Niger indicates that goods from some of the towns east of Mopti required extra days for loading.
Assignment: Find out when port improvements were carried out at different locations in the Middle Niger Valley, and draw conclusions about their consequences for economic development efforts.