The geopolitical importance of the mining industry in Zambia and Katanga, and the rural-urban migration patterns that it brought about, has been the subject of many studies. And yet, the extent to which these industries were interdependent is often downplayed or overlooked. Looking more closely at the history of the Zambian and Katangese Copperbelts, one can see that, despite their separateness, there was interplay between them. During the British South Africa Company rule of Rhodesia (1899-1924), Northern Rhodesia was developed as an important labour and food reserve for the Katangese mines. Following the onset of the Great Depression in the early 1930s, Katanga’s dependence on Northern Rhodesia diminished as the Katangese mines found new sources of labour and foodstuffs. Yet, at the same time, it appears that the Depression served to make the border more porous than it had been before. People of all origins crisscrossed the border between Belgian and British Africa to look for employment or to sell their produce. This article aims to bring this interaction to light.
"Copper’s Corollaries: Trade and Labour Migration in the Copperbelt (1910-1940),"
Zambia Social Science Journal: Vol. 4
, Article 5.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.cornell.edu/zssj/vol4/iss1/5