Deindustrialization in East Africa: textile production in an era of globalization and colonization, c. 1830-1940

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU


While the development of handicraft textile industries has stimulated broader industrial and economic development in a number of world regions, many of East Africa’s domestic cloth industries fell into rapid decline by the early twentieth century. This study examines cases of deindustrialization in southern and central East Africa, which are subsequently considered in light of existing studies on comparatively more resilient textile industries in northern East Africa and West Africa. Scholars have generally focused on forces of globalization as the drivers of industrial decline, placing particular emphasis on purportedly devastating competition from machine-made imported cloth as regions like East Africa increasingly integrated into the global trading system from the early nineteenth century onward. However, this dissertation argues that the causes of deindustrialization lie with a number of local structural factors – particularly demographic, geographic, and institutional features – that interacted with time-dependent external forces to diminish industrial production possibilities in East Africa.

Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Wageningen University
  • Frankema, Ewout, Promotor
  • van Nederveen Meerkerk, E.J.V., Promotor
Award date22 May 2018
Place of PublicationWageningen
Print ISBNs9789463432405
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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