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Fika, Adamu Mohammed (1973) The Political and Economic Reorientation of Kano Emirate, Northern Nigeria, 1882-1940. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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The independent kingdom of Kano has a long history dating from about the middle of the seventh century A.D. The kingdom became a Muslim theocracy as from the reign of Muhammed Rumfa during the second half of the fifteenth century. As a result of the jihad led by Usman dan Fodio early in the nineteenth century, Kano was conquered and subsequently became a self-governing emirate in the Sokoto Caliphate. A Fulani dynasty was established and Kano's rulers recognized the suzerainty of the Sultans of Sokoto, A bureaucratic-like political system was instituted in which slave functionaries played a major role. During the later nineteenth century, internal stresses and conflict plagued the emirate. Already beset with its own internal problems, Kano was threatened by external enemies and in 1903 was forced to succumb to the military conquest of the Europeans, Incorporation into the Protectorate of Northern Nigeria had far-reaching effects on the state of the economy, especially on the pattern of the emirate's extensive commercial relations with the outside world. The Kano ruling groups responded to the British by co-operating in matters tending to maintain or enhance their privileges. This in turn led to the reorganization of taxation, the development of the colonial Native Treasury, modification of the Islamic shari'a to suit British ideas, and the emergence of a specially trained class of administrators capable of writing in Roman script which the British understood. The masses or talakawa, on the other hand, at first viewed the arrival of the British as signalling the end of all worldly obigations but in the end they had to adapt to the colonial situation. The advent of the railway and the development of the groundnut trade played a major role in the history of social change and the consolidation of a cash-based economy. In the so-called 'golden age' of British overrule from about 1926-40, the rulers of Kano had established a satisfactory working relationship with the British, thus enabling the latter to successfully goad the Native Administration into taking on further responsibilities. This period also saw the undertaking of a considerable number of important welfare projects, as for example the provision of pipe-borne water, electricity, and a well-equipped hospital. In the colonial laissez faire economy, the Kano business community were able to prosper in the kola and cattle trade to and from the southern coast. It is suggested that Indirect Rule as practised in Kano and Northern Nigeria was inevitable in view of the problems the British had had to tackle and the authoritarian nature of Hausa-Fulani society.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2020 17:19

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