By Anne King
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Extra info for An Economic History of Kenya and Uganda 1800–1970
Within each area, land was supposed to be divided according to the tenurial customs of the group to which it had been allocated. Europeans could practise their system of freeholds and leaseholds, while the Africans could continue in their traditional ways. Yet the marking out of distinct regions for Europeans and Africans undermined the foundation of the old systems in Kenya. This process has been well expressed by Dr Allan : One of the first effects of the division of Africa among the European administering and colonising powers was to solidify the population-land patterns which had previously been, to a con- Agriculture in Kenya 35 siderable extent, fluid.
However if we want to find out how the increases have come about and why the rates of increase are changing, we need more information than the crude overall population totals can give us. In particular we need to know what proportion of the population are children, adults or old people, and to find this information we obviously need to know people's ages. The problem facing the census takers in 1948, 1959 and 1962 was that the majority of people did not know exactly how old they were nor even how old their children were.
The explanation for the regional differences probably lies in (a) the availability of medical services, (b) the educational level of the mothers and (c) the presence of an adequate diet. If we compare the overall infant mortality levels with those of Western Europe, the difference is startling. In Europe in 1970 infant mortality was roughly 20 per thousand. Yet only seventy years ago, in 1900, infant mortality rates in Europe were much the same as those in East Africa today. Then Sweden had a rate of 196, Belgium 153 and Russia 260.
An Economic History of Kenya and Uganda 1800–1970 by Anne King