The Master and Servant Ordinance and Labour Shortages in the Gold Coast

Suleman Lawani


In the 1900s the Gold Coast experienced acute labour shortages. The complain of the non-availability of wage labour came from all sectors of the Gold Coast economy. The colonial government complained, so was the capitalist entities represented mainly by the mining companies. The colonial government and commercial enterprises resorted to other avenues for recruiting labour. These included forced recruitment in the Northern Territories of Ghana, Nigeria and even experimentation with Chinese Labour. I argue that in the 1920s colonial labour policies and recruitment drive failed to ensure adequate supply of wage labour because of the failure of employers to adhere to the principles of resolving labour disputes enshrined in the Master and Servant Ordinance 1877.

Keywords: Master and Servant; Labour Shortages; Wage labour; Gold Coast; Slaves

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3178 ISSN (Online)2225-0964

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