British Policy in Changing Africa

British Policy in Changing Africa

British Policy in Changing Africa

British Policy in Changing Africa

Excerpt

I greatly appreciated the invitation of the Harris Foundation Trustees to deliver the Harris Lectures at Northwestern University last April. Not only was it a very great honor to be asked; but this gave me the chance to look back on my experiences in African affairs during the last twenty-five years, and in doing so to analyze the causes underlying policies and events and to examine present needs and future opportunities.

We in Britain are proud of the transformation which we have helped the people of the African Territories to make during the last fifteen years; three of my talks deal with this period and with the future. But the rapid changes since the Second World War can be better understood against the background of what went before; in my first talk, therefore, I have touched briefly on the origins of our encounter with Africa and on the period of building in the fifty years before 1940.

Today the two main dynamic forces in the countries which we administer are African nationalist movements and British officials. Nationalism only started to make its weight felt in tropical Africa after the Second World War; we must recognize that it is the strongest human force of the twentieth century, and, if our policies are to succeed, we must work with the nationalists, as we have shown that we can do in many countries, both in Africa and elsewhere. British officials have been the spearheads of progress since British administration in Africa began. Too little is known in the United States, and even in Britain, about their work and their problems. I have dealt particularly with district . . .

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