Colonial labour starting from the early 20th century, colonial governments in Africa established colonial economies such as agriculture, industry, trade, mining etc. Due to those economic activities they needed more labour.
In order to solve the problem of labour shortage in Africa colonial governments took the following measures:
1.Introduction of forced labour: Colonial governments used coercive force like army and police to force Africans to work in colonial economies. In Tanganyika 1944 about 12,00 labourers were forced to work on sisal plantations.
2. Europeans imported manufactured goods in Africa such as clothes, bicycles that were sold for cash, Africans were required to work to buy such products.
3. Colonial governments introduced tax in the form of cash thus Africans were required to work in colonial economies to earn money to pay tax.
4. Colonial governments registered Trade Unions with the aim of finding labourers e.g. SILABU (Sisal Labour Bureau) in Tanganyika and W.N.L.A. (Witwatersrand Native labour Association) in South Africa.
5. They introduced laws and ordinance e.g. the “Kipande” system in Kenya where Africans were required to have an identity card showing their place of occupation. In Tanganyika there was a Masters and Native Servants Act of 1906
6. Introduction of land alienation. In Kenya and Zimbabwe Africans were removed from fertile areas and had to work to earn money.
7. Colonial governments introduced rationalisation so some areas were special for labour production e.g. Kigoma, Rukwa and other areas were special for crop production.
8. They introduced colonial education to gain administrators for lower posts in Africa example. clerks and messengers which were used on colonial economies and other colonial offices.