Hi and welcome back to the course African Development from the past to the present. My name is Ellen Hillbom and I am a professor in economic history at Lund University. After first course module where I introduced the course and the field of African economic history, theory and literature, we will now dig into the actual subject. For ease, I have termed the second module, the pre-colonial era. But this is a very blunt and eurocentric periodization. It indicates that the 200 000 years of human history in Africa before European colonialism belongs to one period, and that the territorial presence of the European powers in Africa is the only relevant way of understanding African history. It also indicates that political change in the form of colonialism had a direct effect on economic change, which is not true over the board. Now that I have pointed out this weakness with the terminology, I will proceed. In this first lecture of the second module, I talk about various systems or production that existed on the African continent prior to European colonization in the late 19th century. In the interest of simplicity, I have divided them up into four categories, Hunter gatherers, cattle keepers, crop farmers and mining and handicraft. It is important to remember that colonization was no end for these systems of production. Many of them continue to exist during the colonial era and some also after independence in the 1960s. The first system of production to arise on the African continent were Hunter gatherer societies. They lived off the land gathering roots, berries and so on. Gathering was primarily done by women and was the basis for their livelihoods. Hunting was a male activity and while only provided additional nutrition, meat was only a compliment to the regular diet. This lifestyle required large land areas with low population density. Hunter-gatherers generally produced only a minimum surplus and had a low material standard of living. And their production systems did not demand much work. It has been estimated that the Hunter gathering San people of the Kalahari Desert worked on average 12 to 19 hours a week to obtain food. As new systems of production like cattle keeping and crop farming spread the number of hunter gatherer societies diminished. Today, Hunter gatherers live in marginalized minorities in a few African countries. They amount to only a few thousand individuals divided into three ethnic groups. The pygmies of the rainforest along the Congo River, the Hadza people in the Rift Valley in Tanzania and the San people in the Kalahari Desert. Various systems of cattle rearing are usually classed under the common term pastorialism. It denotes an agricultural system focusing on keeping livestock rather than cultivating crops. Pastoralists can be nomads or settled. Livestock is a form of capital and therefore the pastoralist communities were more capital intense compared to the Hunter gatherers. Because of livestock pastoralists could ensure good source of protein - in the form of milk or meat. Animals also enabled nomadic pastoralists to bring along more possessions, and they could accumulate greater material wealth. Since livestock depended on grazing, land increased in value. Looking after the animals and accumulating more assets, required more labor input. Thus, all three factors of production: capital, land and labor increased in value as societies transformed from hunter gatherers to pastoralists. Within the pastoralist group there was sub groups that were the result of different natural conditions in different regions. In dry and or hot to areas South of the Sahara Desert in West Africa and near Lake Victoria in East Africa, it was necessary for the herds to move over quite large areas to find water and pastures. In these areas, the pastoral groups largely remained nomads, adapting to the seasons. In Southern Africa it was more common with pastoral groups who settled permanently. In addition to drinking milk, these groups also slaughter their animals to have meat. In certain areas - for example, in today's Zimbabwe and Botswana - a mixed form of pastoralists and crop farming emerged. Groups such as the Tswana therefore became known as agro-pastoralists. Africa also contained a great variety of crop farming systems. They were based on both local crops and new crops from other parts of the world. From Asia came rice, sugar cane, bananas and other fruits and vegetables. The Asiatic crops were superior to domestic crops in that they produced greater yields and had a higher nutritional value. At the end of the 15th century Europeans brought maize, cassava, groundnuts, tobacco and cocoa to West Africa from South America. The new crops caused a technical change in African agriculture and came to have great economic significance both on the local markets and its export products. The new farming systems were accompanied by institutional change. New ways of organizing labor and production, changes in property rights and so on. In general, Africa was a sparsely populated continent. In most places, land was abundant and it was the lack of labour that hindered improvement and efficiency in agriculture. As a result, extensive farming systems developed. To increase production, for example, in response to population increase, new areas of land were cultivated. The tools used in this extensive farming system were simple, and the level of technology was low. In other areas, increase in population density caused change in the agricultural system. Increasing production was achieved through a more intensive use of both land and labor. Such societies were found, for example, in today's Ethiopia and in both East and West Africa. Some scholars have referred to these areas as 'islands of intensification'. In both the extensive and intensive farming systems, the most common way of accessing agricultural resources was that the head of the family, which as a rule was the man, sought and was allocated right to the use of land and water from the local leaders who held the land in trust for the people. Property rights systems were characterized by communal ownership of resources combined with private user rights. The rationale for the communal property rights system was the low relative price of land and the poor access to capital. Farmers invested little more than their own labor. But they wanted to benefit from their toil, hence the private user rights and private ownership of the production itself. Communal property, right systems have often been described as more egalitarian than those that build on private ownership. But that is an altogether too simplistic representation of the African systems of production. There were opportunities for the already wealthy to enrich themselves further, and for discrimination against various groups, for example, against women who could not petition for land themselves. Meanwhile, mining, handicraft and occasional cases of elementary textile production were found all over Africa. Iron was the most important metal for the manufacturing of high quality tools and equipment. Along with iron they were also tin and copper mines. These metals were used to make everyday objects. Meanwhile, gold was for the most important metal for jewels, and for amassing wealth. From ancient times until our own days, different regions in Africa have been known for their major gold resources. The Nubian mines were the biggest producers of gold in the Ancient World, while West Africa was the leading export of gold to Western Europe's Middle Age societies. Later, Great Zimbabwe became a leading gold producer. In all societies there were people that to a lesser or higher degrees, specialized in production of handicraft and ceramics. wove baskets, and made rope, leather product, furniture and so on. These goods could be bartered or bought and sold, both within the local community and beyond. In cases where the trade was substantial and the handicraft class were significant, income from the production of luxury goods, consumption goods and tools became an important element in the local system of production. Thanks to archaeological findings, we also know that North and West Africa had a long tradition of professionally organized textile manufacturing. The cultivation of cotton and the weaving of cotton cloth were introduced into West Africa by Moslem traders in the 8th century, after which the region developed a production of its own. There are also instances of textile manufacturing in other parts of the continent, for example silk production in Madagascar. By necessity, this has been a very brief summary, but I hope that I have managed to show their pre colonial African systems are production, were diverse and dynamic, although they experienced limited technological change. In the next lecture I will talk about how societies with these systems or production were organized politically.