The Human Factor in Changing Africa

The Human Factor in Changing Africa

The Human Factor in Changing Africa

The Human Factor in Changing Africa

Excerpt

How will the historian of the future treat of Africa when he writes of the twentieth century developments in world history that marked the ending of the colonial period? How will he relate the changing attitudes and points of view, inside and outside the continent, that characterized the emergence within a few years of so many new nations, and their projection onto the world scene? How will he balance the innovations brought into Africa against the pull of the precolonial setting?

To one who, like myself, has been privileged to follow this episode in world history from close up, as a scientific observer and, as such, a participant, the implications of these questions inform my view of immediate events, and give perspective in the face of the rapidity of developments. In 1931, when I carried on my first field research in Africa, I lived in the full colonial setting.In 1953, in Lagos, I attended the session of the Nigerian House of Representatives when the withdrawal of members from the Western and Eastern Regions broke the existing constitution and paved the way for self-government seven years later. The same year I was in Kenya during the Mau Mau rebellion and saw how . . .

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