102 TtlE BKITISH EMHRE .—BRITISH CENTRAL AFRICA
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CENTRAL AFRICA (BRITISH).
British Central Africa eonipriscs the territory north of the Zambezi, bounded on the east and west by the Portuguese po.ssessions, and on the north by German East Africa and the Congo Independent State. The Avhole of this tract of country, with the exception of the Central Afiica Protectorate to the soutli and west of Lake Nyasa, is (under the name of Northern Rhodesia) in- chided in the field of operations of the British Soutli Africa Company. [For boundaries see Statesman's Year-Book for 1898.] Its area is about 251,000 square miles with a population of about 650,000. There are about 350 Europeans, nearly all being British subjects. The region lying between the Lakes Nyasa, Tanganyika, Mweru, and Bangweolo, is divided into five dis- tricts : Chambezi, Tanganyika, Mweru, Luapula, and Loangwa. The adminis- trative headquarters have hitherto been at Blantyre, in the Protectorate, but are about to be transferred to a central position on the Tanganyika plateau The most important centres are Fife, the station of the African Lakes Cor- poration, and Abercorn, both on the Stevenson road ; but each of the districts contains one or more stations for collectors and police, where arms and am- munition are kept. By an arrangement with the Imperial Government, police work in Northern J^hodesia will be undertaken by the armed forces of the British Central Africa Protectorate.
The northern plateau is stated to be healthy. It is open and well- watered and suitable for cattle. Wheat and European fruits are grown, and the fibre plants which abound in the region provide material for a new in- dustry which promises satisfactory results. Land has been taken up for ex- periments in colfee growing, and success, as in the Protectorate, is confidently expected. Gold has been found in the south of this region, and coal on the shore of Lake Nyasa on land belonging to the Company, though beyond its sphere of administration.
The Stevenson road for a distance of 140 miles between Lakes Nyasa and Tanganyika has recently been re-made. External communication is mainly by steamers on Lake Nyasa, and the telegraph line which has been continued from Zomba in the Protectorate to the north end of the Lake whence it is l)eing carried to Lake Tanganyika, along the western shore of which it will be continued.
On the west side of British Central Africa on the Upper Zambezi is Barot- seland, a populous, well-watered region, adapted for pasture, or for the culti- vation of rice, wheat, oats, cofiee, or rubber. At Lialui, the king's kraal, the Company has a Resident-Commissioner (Major R. T. Coryndon), and a monthly postal service by foot-runners between Lialui and Bulawayo has been organised. There are five French Protestant Mission stations in Barotseland, the liquor traffic is interdicted, and the slave trade has been suppressed. Representative of the British South Africa Company in the eastern part of Northern Rhodes^ia. — Robert E. Codrington.