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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The West African Students Union and its Contribution to the Anti-Colonial Struggle
Author:Yusuf, Ahmad A.
Periodical:Africa Quarterly
Geographic terms:English-speaking Africa
West Africa
student movements
Education and Oral Traditions
Women's Issues
Abstract:The West African Students Union (WASU) was founded on 7 August 1925 in London. Membership was initially restricted to students from British territories in West Africa. However, from 1928 onwards, under the influence of Pan-African ideology, all students of African origin could join, although students from West Africa, especially Nigeria, dominated WASU and its activities. The founding members of WASU saw themselves as 'conservatives', and stated that they would pursue their objectives through peaceful, legal, and constitutional means. In the late 1930s and during World War II, WASU became anticolonial and anti-imperialist, and towards the end of the war, under the influence of Pan-Africanism and Marxism-Leninism, WASU's radicalism reached its climax. By the end of the 1950s, WASU had begun to decline. In promoting the welfare of African students, in serving as a school for the training of political cadres and leaders, in raising the political and national consciousness of the West African people, and in publicizing the repressive and undemocratic policies and practices of the colonial administrations in the United Kingdom, WASU contributed significantly to the political, economic, educational, and social development of British West Africa. Moreover, it was the first colonized peoples' organization to concretely demand self-government and national independence for the British colonies in West Africa. Bibliogr., ref.