Chapter 7
PARTNERSHIP IN EDUCATION

If one issue could be closer to the hearts of Africans than any other-- closer than either prosperity or liberty--it is education.

The passion for education is perhaps the most nearly-universal of contemporary African characteristics. This is the political demand to which native politicians and colonial administrators must respond before all others. This is the cultural demand which conditions the African family's search for a place to live and work. The European colonizers have diligently taught that education is the indispensable prerequisite to economic progress and political privilege. The African has come, wholeheartedly, to believe it. The cult of education, which began in Africa as a justification for white supremacy, has become the established black religion.

From the point of view of the African, this is as it should be; for the continent as a whole, south of the Sahara, is still very largely dependent on European and, to some extent, Indian legal and medical practitioners, engineers, scientists, skilled craftsmen, economists and senior civil servants. This is substantially true even of such politically and culturally advanced regions as Ghana and Nigeria; it is particularly true of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. Therein lies a big danger to African nationalism. If African political power grows more rapidly than the African capacity to govern, the benefits of political emancipation could be squandered in incompetence and corruption long before they filter down to the native masses. The African contends that the solution to this dilemma is not to retard political progress but to accelerate educational development.

It is fortunate for the Africans of central Africa that their passionate pursuit of education is not unrequited by circumstance. Unlike the natives of South Africa, they are not, at least not entirely, restricted by law in their selection of educational objectives. Unlike the huge under- employed intelligentsia of India, they can look forward to an insatiable

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