The established merchants and plantation operators in the African colonies frequently managed to sway government policies. Capital investments by banks were secured with public funds of the imperial treasury to minimize risk. Dernburg, as a former banker, facilitated such thinking; he saw his commission to also turn the colonies into paying propositions. Every African protectorate built rail lines to the interior,  every colony in Africa and the Pacific established the beginnings of a public school system,  and every colony built and staffed hospitals.  Whatever the Germans constructed in their colonies was made to last.