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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The British Establishment of Universities in Tropical Africa, 1920-1948: A Reaction against the Spread of American Radical Influence
Author:Nwauwa, Apollos O.
Periodical:Cahiers d'études africaines
Geographic terms:French-speaking Africa
Subsaharan Africa
Great Britain
educational policy
Education and Oral Traditions
History and Exploration
External link:https://doi.org/10.3406/cea.1993.1520
Abstract:As early as 1860, the West African educated elite began to show concern over the plight of their fellow Africans as a result of growing race consciousness. The question of appropriate education for Africans began to occupy a prominent position in their thought. This article deals with the establishment of universities in British colonial Africa between 1920 and 1948, focusing on the American influence on this process. It shows that African demand for universities did not produce a positive response from Britain until the American Phelps-Stokes Commission visited Africa in 1920-1921 to assess the nature and quality of the education of 'negroes'. Britain quickly responded by setting up an Advisory Committee on Native Education in Tropical Africa, in 1923. The white paper it issued in 1925 became the first statement of British educational policy in Africa. American-educated Africans who returned to Africa to seek entry into the colonial structure discovered that the British had no role for them under the indirect rule system. It can be argued that it was mainly the British rejection of the educated Africans which drove them into the 'radical' nationalist camp. It was partly to address the increasing American influence that Britain was persuaded to establish universities in Africa. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in French (p. 357-358).