The shaping of post-war British decolonisation.

Agbor et al argue:  

 

This paper argues that the pattern of decolonisation was a logical consequence

of the nature of human capital transfers from the colonisers. to the elites of the

former colonies, and this shaped the strategic interaction between these two groups.

Where the educational ideology emphasized the notion of assimilation, the system

generally tended to produce elites that depended highly on the coloniser for their

livelihood, hence necessitating a continuation of the imperial relationship even after

independence was granted. On the contrary, where the ideology emphasized the

strengthening of the .solid elements. of the countryside, the system tended to pro-

duce a bunch of elites that were quite independent of the coloniser and consequently

had little to loose from a disruption of the imperial relationship at independence.

The results of the model shed light into why the French decolonisation process in

West Africa was generally smooth and transited from colonialism to neo-colonialism

whereas British decolonisations in West Africa were generally antagonistic, culminating in complete independence from England.

 

Usefully Agbor et al offer a note thus: "The Eurocentric school basically argues that: the colonisers themselves sought to withdraw from empires because it was no longer in their economic or political interest to continue colonial rule, while the Afrocentric view argues that the colonisers were forcefully evicted from empires by elite-led nationalist movements."

 

But against these 'independent variable' explanations it is suggested that the process may not be that simple and that we have to explore an historical complex of forces and trade-offs between african and european players.

 

Agbor et al seem to argue that whilst the passage from French colonialism to independence was relatively smooth; that in British territories was not... and furthermore any supportive relationship between the former British colonial powers and the colonised was, post-independence, broken.

 

 But Agbor et al explain this by processes of internal formation of nationalist consciousness or otherwise...and that to me, seems wrong. Furthermore, it seems to me that Agbor et al have not explained how mass support for independence is either held at bay or stimulated. We need that connection between leaders and the masses - of social mobilisation.

 

 

The French way to de-Colonisation - the Agbor explanation:

 The French colonising powers created a compliant educated black elite, alienated from their fellow citizens to help run the colony

 Unlike French colonial education, the preservation of the indigenous patterns of thinking and traditions were a key priority of British colonial education ideology

 Moumouni (1968) described French colonial education as: "cut rate, designed to secure subordinate officials by impoverishing their spiritual life and detaching them completely from their own people, and that it produced an anti-national, bureaucratic neo-bourgeoisie". 

 This created an elite that was least inclined to entering into violent confrontation with France. Put alternatively, French assimilatory educational practice produced a bunch of elites who were naturally inclined to favouring a continuation of the imperial relationship with France, instead of advocating for "real" independence as their anglophone peers did... and that francophone elites were more likely to face serious collective action problems in rallying the support of the general population in rebellion against the French.

 Senghor in Senegal states: "What I fear is that, in the future, under the fatal pressure of African liberation, we might be induced to leave the French orbit. We must stay not only in the French Union but in the French Republic"

 

 and then the British way to de-colonisation (according to Agbor)

Unlike French colonial education, the preservation of the indigenous patterns of thinking and traditions were a key priority of British colonial education ideology... it is arguable that the most important un-intended consequence of the British education policy of "strengthening the solid elements of the countryside", was the formation of an anglophone elite that was independent in thought and less dependent on the colonial bureaucracy for its livelihood. Based on the foregoing, two important inferences can be made about British colonial education practice in black Africa. Firstly, the elite that was created was more inclined to entering into violent confrontation with the British colonial authorities since they never really depended on the latter for their livelihood.

 

And British colonial education contributed in reinforcing the traditional and cultural ties of the elites with their countrymen, implying that anglophone elites were less likely to face serious collective action problems in rallying the support of the general population in rebellion against the British.

 Perhaps the story goes more like this:

 And we have to see the whole process as a .....dialectic! That is to say a process of interaction and disjunction between what the Africans (elites and masses) were up to and what the colonial representatives and their home government were up to...

  

The colonising process late 19thC endorsed by Berlin Conference among the European powers. And then after imposition of some admin structure relatively civilised (Britain) or rather uncivilised (Belgium/Portugal) or exploitatively civilised (France) we see after the WWI the very slow moves towards anti-colonial activism and further on, independence movements.

 

According to Mazrui:

 The struggle for political sovereignty in colonial Africa had four phases which sometimes empirically overlapped, but were nevertheless analytically distinct. There was:

 a)  the phase of pre-Second World War  élite agitation for greater autonomy.

 b) There was then the phase of popular involvement in the struggle against Nazism and fascism.

 c) thirdly, non-violent popular struggle for full independence after the Second World War.

 d) Finally, there was armed engagement for the political kingdom - the guerrilla wars against white minority governments especially from the 1960s onwards.  (Ali Mazrui, p.106, General History of Africa, vol. VIII)

 

 Before 2nd WW:

Between the two world wars a variety of ethnic and kinship unions developed in different colonies - partly inspired by a sense of solidarity among migrant workers in cities, and partly because of the wider sense of African alienation in conditions of colonial exploitation. The range of kinship organizations which emerged was from the Kikuyu Central Association in East Africa to the Urhobo Renascent Convention in West Africa.

 In May 1935 there were African strikes and riots on the copper belt in Northern Rhodesia. And in Nigeria a variety of special-interest groups began to organize themselves. In Lagos alone this enthusiasm for organization resulted in the following explosion of associations:

 Lagos Fishermen's Association 1937

Alakoro Union Women's Trading C o . 1939

Farina W o m e n Sellers' Union 1940

Lagos Wholesale Butchers' Union 1938

Taxi Drivers' Association 1938

Lagos Canoe Transport Union 1938

Lagos Night Soil Removers' Union 1942

Lagos Union of Auctioneers 1932

Palm Wine Sellers' Association 1942

 

Other cultural and élite organizations among Africans and people of African ancestry were formed abroad. Pan-Africanism was also entering a new phase. Leopold Sedar Senghor and Aimé Césaire founded L'étudiant noir in France. And Nkrumah, Kenyatta and W . E . B . DuBois were active pan-Africanists in Britain and the United States. But although many of these early movements were basically élite organizations, and many of the interest-group associations were primarily urban, the beginnings of mass politics were at hand in the inter-war years.

 In war-time: consciousness of International struggles:

widespread ambivalence in Africa about the Second World War. But on the whole the philosophy which prevailed favoured the 'devils' which Africans already knew (especially Britain and Free France) rather than the new devils of Nazism and fascism. And those Africans who had experienced pre-Nazi German rule (like Tanganyikans and Togolese) knew that the Germans were among the most brutal of imperial powers in Africa's experience.

 Africa's involvement was not a process of collaboration with imperialism but was a commitment against a worse form of hegemony. T o that extent, Africa's involvement in the war was, paradoxically, part and parcel of Africa's struggle against foreign exploitation and in search of human dignity.

 

 And Bonny Ibhawoh (2007) has an interesting take on the paradoxical effect of supporting Britain in war-time:

 

 

 "War propaganda strengthened the African sense of belonging to the British Empire and fostered some form of imperial idealism at a time of growing local opposition to colonial rule. Fighting along side British forces, Africans sought to prove themselves loyal citizens of Empire. On the other hand, however, the war provided new opportunities for emergent West African elites to articulate their nationalist demands on a world stage drawing on the same discourses about freedom and self-determination that underlined imperial war propaganda. This unleashed a new sense of global citizenship. British war propaganda reinforced the notions that West African were citizens of Empire but it also strengthened an anti-colonial nationalist movement that envisioned Africans not merely as subjects of Empire but also as autonomous citizens of the world."

 

 

....experiences in mass mobilization and information dissemination strengthened the ability of the nationalist groups to mobilize mass action. Political parties such as Kwame Nkrumah’s Convention People’s Party in the Gold Coast and Obafemi Awolowo’s Action Group Party in Nigeria owed much of their success in rallying public support to the use of sophisticated mobilization techniques drawn from colonial war propaganda machinery.

 This point connects to my earlier point that Agbor et al fail to offer explanations of mobilisation - which cannot come from internal mechanisms of an alienated elites (copper's nark thesis) (from the masses) or indeed from traditional Chiefs compromising with the colonial power to maintain their status (British territories) but rather that we need to link up the emergence of a new nationalist non-traditional elite unquelled by some suitable negotiating position with the colonial regime.

 

Perhaps the new elite needed

 nationalist ideology/theory

and outside inspirations

 based in sometimes surprising radicalising non-african sources

 rooted in political experience and connections/movements outside - in the wider world

 that they can bring back to their people and agitate and disseminate (propaganda)

  

International Principles localised?

 The Atlantic Charter, a common declaration of purpose concerning the Second World War issued by  Roosevelt and Churchill in 1941 declared that both leaders respected the right of all peoples to choose the form of government under which they will live and that they wished to ‘see sovereign rights and self-government restored to those who have been forcibly deprived of them.’ (Clause 3 of AC) 

 The Atlantic Charter reinforced a dominant theme in colonial war propaganda – that the war was not simply a fight for Britain and her allies but a struggle for the rights and freedoms of all peoples. Colonial propagandists repeatedly made reference to the Charter as evidence of the justification and altruism of British war aims. The Charter also became the focus of debates about the right to self-determination.

 In West Africa, as elsewhere in the continent, public discussion over the Charter centred on its famous third clause which affirmed ‘the right of all peoples to choose the form of government under which they will live.’ This statement excited the hopes of West African nationalists who saw it as an unequivocal affirmation of their right to self-determination.

 The Atlantic Charter was idle talk among Western powers that held no promise of self determination for Africans and other colonized people. However, the prominent Nigerian nationalist and editor of the West African Pilot, Nnamdi Azikiwe, urged Africans to prepare their own charters of rights and freedoms rather than rely on those who were too busy preparing their own. Like other West African nationalists, Azikiwe, who later became the President of Nigeria, effectively used the Atlantic Charter to advance their demands for independence. (Zik, 1945)

 And Goldberg argues that faced with pressure to extend the principles of the Atlantic Charter to the colonies, the British Foreign Office urged the Colonial Office to consider producing a Colonial Charter, along the lines of the Atlantic Charter, outlining British post war intentions for the colonies. All these forced local colonial administrators to make important political concessions to West African nationalists and undertake major political reforms. In Nigeria and the Gold Coast, the governments conceded to the longstanding demands for African representation in on the Executive Councils...

 thus more readiness on the part of colonial administrations to engage with educated Africans who had long been shut out of the British system of

indirect rule in preference for local Chiefs.

 

 After war: raising of anti-colonial consciousness as an International political factor:

The birth of the United Nations in 1945 also contributed to the process of decolonization worldwide. As the world body became more truly representative of the human race, colonialism became less and less legitimate. Almost every new member of the United Nations following India's independence was a voice against the old systems of empire.

 

 Post-war forms of culture based resistance

 Mau Mau - Kenya; mid-50s: indigenous warrior tradition. This is a cultural meaning of 'primary' rather than a chronological one. The Mau

Mau freedom-fighters challenged the British as late as the 1950s - but on the basis of Kikuyu values of warrior-hood and related religious beliefs, with all the symbolism of indigenous combat cultures The movement was 'primary' in this cultural sense.

 Missionary schools helped to promote not just Christian spiritual ideas but also Western secular ideologies.

 African radical nationalists who emerged from Christian missionary schools included such towering figures as Julius Nyerere, Tom Mboya, Eduardo Mondlane, Robert Mugabe, Leopold Sedar Senghor as well as Nkrumah.

 Nkrumah said of himself: 'I am a Marxist-Leninist and a non-denominational Christian - and I see no contradiction in that'.

  

Pacifist strategies of resistance such as those of Gandhi had appealed to future leaders such as Nkrumah and Kenneth Kaunda (Zambia)

 Interesting point is that, at least in the 50s: African opposition to armed struggle was also evident at the All-Africa Peoples' Conference held in independent Ghana in 1958. The Algerians - who were at the time locked in an armed struggle against France - found it difficult to get pan-African endorsement of their struggle at the Accra conference. A combination of Gandhism and Francophilia among some of the participants was responsible for this rebuff of Algerian freedom fighters.

      But the Sharpeville Massacre in 1960 put paid to all that pacifist approach.

 

 Intellectual Elite basis of African nationalism and a vision of post-Independence politics - re: British colonialism.

 Occasional initially inspired and noticed for their seeming ability by missionaries, and travel and are educated in European or US universities and through making contacts, acquire anti-Imperialist ideas of de-colonisation 1930s/40s (not considered by Agbor et al)

 Of activists under British rule, Agbor all too vaguely notes: "Western education was indirectly responsible for creating a group to whom access into the highest levels of the bureaucracy was denied and who constituted the core of the early nationalist movement on the Gold Coast. It was this minority of professional lawyers and intelligentsia who supplied the leadership of nationalist activities throughout most of the colonial period".

 ..and have links to political forces on the (radical even marxist/communist) Left in Britain and elsewhere.  These form the intellectual cardre who foster ideas of independence

 Take Nkrumah (future President of God Coast/Ghana)

 Initially taught by missionaries, Nkrumah showed promise and trained as a teacher and came under the influence of the Deputy Head of a school where he was doing his teaching practice. Columbia-educated deputy headmaster Kwegyir Aggrey exposed him to the ideas of Marcus Garvey and W. E. B. Du Bois. Aggrey, taught that there should be close co-operation between the races in governing the Gold Coast, but Nkrumah, echoing Garvey, soon came to believe that only when the black race governed itself could there be harmony between the races. Equally he heard Azikiwe  (future President of Nigeria) speak and this reinforced Nkrumah's emerging idea of Black nationalism

 He then went to the USA and then later to UCL and LSE by which time he has also had come under the influence of CLR James the (West Indian Trotskyite) and nationalist activist and communist, George Padmore.

 "After twelve years abroad pursuing higher education, developing his political philosophy, and organizing with other diasporic pan-Africanists, Nkrumah returned to Gold Coast to begin his political career as an advocate of national independence."

 God had ordained that certain among the African race should journey westwards to equip themselves with knowledge and experience for the day when they would be called upon to return to their motherland and to use the learning they had acquired to help improve the lot of their brethren. ...I had not realized at the time that I would contribute so much towards the fulfillment of this prophecy.

Kwame Nkrumah, The Autobiography of Kwame Nkrumah

 So...I am sympathetic to Agbor thesis about importance of education as a feature of independence movements BUT it does not seem that it can be sustained in its connection with the road to independence if we merely view it as a home-gown phenomenon

 Equally we might consider the role of inter-war organisations such as WASU - West African Students Union

 In a rather fawning way, Dotse (2009) says of it and of Nkrumah's role in it:

By the 1920s, many West African students in London crated associations which evolved into academies furthering African independence. These included the Nigerian Progress Union (NPU) led by Ladipo Solanke, a Nigerian law student, the Union of Students of African Descent (USAD), a Christian social organisation dominated by students from the West Indies, the National Congress of British West Africa (NCBWA), the African Progress Union and the Gold Coast Students Association. On 7 August 1925, Herbert Bankole Bright, a Sierra Leonean doctor of the NCBWA to create West African Students Union (WASU) WASU earned a reputation for Pan-Africanism and worked for colonial independence. This attracted many independence activists such as Kwame Nkrumah.

Before his arrival in London in 1945, Nkrumah studied in the United States where he formed the African Students Organization, which relentlessly promoted Pan-Africanism,. On arrival he quickly joined the WASU, meeting with prominent Labour politicians like Prime Minister Clement Attlee. He formed a subgroup within WASU known as ‘the Circle’, which was a revolutionary cell agitating for political independence.

While remaining closely connected with WASU, Nkrumah established connections with other organisations such as the Pan-African Federation and the World Federation of Trade Unions. He also became involved in the organisation of the 1945 fifth Pan-African Congress in Manchester. This brought him closer to many great leaders including W.E.B. Du Bois, and future president of Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta and In 1946 Nkrumah left his academic studies to become secretary-general of the West African National Secretariat, which had been formed at the fifth Pan-African Congress to coordinate efforts for West African independence. That same year, Nkrumah became vice-president of the WASU that had  prepared him for his political career.

  

Labour Party as Internationalists: support for African independence

In World War 2 the Labour Party  pressed its anti-imperialist image, especially in relation to Africa. On 15 August 1941 at the West African Students’ Union (WASU) Hostel, the Party Leader, Clement Attlee, disclosed his Party’s consciousness “of the wrongs done by the white areas to the races with darker skins”, adding, “I look forward to an ever-increasing measure of self-government in AfricaIn essence, Labour deliberately cultivated the friendship of the colonial peoples. In London, for exanple, there was the West African Parliamentary Committee, a link between WASU ‘and Labour parliamentarians.

 Since the 1920s African nationalists movements in London looked to the Labour Party rather than the Conservatives for support in the belief that Labour was the party of the under-dog and of Internationalism. In March 1944, Creech Jones (Colonial Secretary in Atlee Govt of1945) was in Lagos as vice-chairman

of the Elliot Commission on Higher Education in West Africa and he was given a rousing mass reception, in acknowledgement of his anti-colonial stance. In the July 1945 general election, WASU worked for a Labour victory because the Party was considered “the most understanding aid the most sympathetic towards the colonial problems

 

 In an interesting paper, Nwaubani argues a radically different case suggesting that despite surface appearances the Labour Party has as a matter of policy a dismissive and paternalistic view of 'the native african'.

 "....the Party not only saw the colonial administrator as a foster parent, but also had a very a rudimentary curriculum for “educating and preparing” Africans to take care of themselves. This concept continued to inform the Party’s definition of Africa’s political evolution. Herbert Morrison, Deputy Leader and Home Secretary, had Africa in focus when - in January 1943 - in his sharp rebuttal of American anti-colonial posturing (Atlantic Charter), he stated, “It would be ignorant, dangerous nonsense to talk about grants of full self-government to many dependent territories for some time to come. In those instances it would be like giving a child of ten a latch-key, a bank account, and a shotgun."

 

(See the first 3 paras in the section of the paper: The Labour Government and Political Change in Africa, 1945-1951 - very useful on the basic politics of devolved legislative powers 'gifted' to the African by the British colonial power (esp. on the Gold Coast)

 

BUT... constitutions were given to the Gold Coast in 1950 and Nigeria in 1951. The 1950 Constitution which “conferred upon the Gold Coast a greater measure of responsibility for her own internal affairs ...” The Executive Council, now the major instrument of policy, included eight Africans -  with six holding portfolios - aid the Governor lost his place in the legislature. The representative element became preponderant in the House of Assembly, which had three officials, six nominees of the Governor, and seventy elected Africans (of whom only one third were chiefs).

 The train carrying the chiefs and their retinue  as well-subsidised bearers and inheritors of colonial authority h d to be shunted for the fast express of nationalism. This also meant jettisoning the pretence of building up Africa’s political future within the framework of the traditional institutions, and the gradualistic approach of acquainting the African with political responsibility through a carefully-regulated entry via local government to the legislative council.

 The jettisoning of the traditional form of African power in relation to the colonial power namely the Chiefs was in effect to give an enhanced sense of power to the new nationalist elites

but their representations on legislative councils that were being introduced post-war did not always stabilise into a majority. Where European settlers were a significant economic power therewith the latter prevailed:

 "In December 1945, an official paper was issued on closer union for East Africa. Its major political feature was a central Legislative Council for Kenya, Tanganyika, and Uganda, with racial parity: six Africans, six settlers, and six Asians. The Kenyan settlers promptly rejected the plan because a central legislature with racial parity would have diminished their dominant political position. Convinced that the settlers were the pivot of m y economic development Cohen was swayed by their opposition. Creech Jones stood his ground. But in August 1946, Creech Jones and Cohen visited East Africa to placate the settlers, and this was reflected in a fresh policy paper: “the Central Assembly was emasculated <and power decisively returned to the territorial governments” - in Kenya, unofficial representation in the Legislative Council was now two Europeans, one African, one Asian." (Nwaubani  p.207)

 Rather depressingly, as late as 1948 under the Labour Government, the African colonies were turned into outright chattels, “dollar earners”, as their production levels of cash crops were systematically expanded to overcome the economic crisis that overwhelmed Britain. In 1948, Norman Brook, Cabinet Secretary had to remind Attlee:

 At recent meetings there has been general support for the view that the development of Africa’s resources should be pushed forward rapidly in order to support the political and economic position of the United Kingdom ... [This policy] could, I suppose, be said to fall within the ordinary definition of ’Imperialism’. And,  it might be presented as a policy of exploiting native [sic] peoples in order to support the standards of living of the workers in this country.

 Nwaubani concludes that: "It is an exaggeration to suggest or even imagine that Labour’s refrain on “institution-building” implied an intention to unscramble the African Empire by creating “modernised” societies ripe for sovereign status. On the contrary, the rhetoric was a hard-headed realism that masked British self-interest through colonial control."

 

Conclusion:

We need to explain the emergence of, as well as the oppotunities for a  'nationalist consciousness' - its leaders - intellectual/activists - motivations and sources and migration (back) into the politics and populations under colonial rule.

 

 

Leaders, Ideology, Parties, Democratisation

 Recently the african scholar, John Igue wrote:

 A new generation of leaders has to be considered, who are capable of facing up to a number of challenges such as fragmentation of the region, history and knowledge, relaying the foundations of the post-colonial State, promotion of democracy and human rights and the implementation of new conditions for peace and freedom, the gauge of sustainable development.

 

He identifies two underlying issues which persistently trouble Africa

1) the future of the post-colonial State, because of the recurring socio-political crises with which it is faced and the difficulties experienced by the people in adapting to it;

2) the need to invent a new method of governance, without which the democratic process that has been embarked upon since 1990 risks being compromised. This can be seen already in the repeated rigging of elections and the progressive return of the military to power.

 

He the goes on:

Africa needs to come up with a new generation of leaders, who are capable of relaying the foundations of a post-colonial State in crisis and who are also capable of defending its populations’ interests better, based on unwavering respect for different State institutions.

This respect for institutions is still far from being a reality because of several contradictory influences on African political decision-makers.

Among these we could mention the persistent hegemony of the major powers

and the economic stakes that Africa represents because of its main natural resources: oil, gold, diamonds, uranium, timber and so on. Serious socio-cultural factors must also be taken into consideration.

 Q: If he is right about today, what does 'western hegemonic power" do to the potential of African leadership?

 

If that is the current situation in Africa - how does that differ from the transition-to-independence period of new leaders in the late 50s and early 60s?

 

and what about Nyirubugara's argument:

"My argument is that the current African leadership crisis could be better understood by tracing it back to the foundation laying stage. I will mostly consider Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah (1909-1972), Tanzania’s Julius Nyerere (1922-1999), and Congo’s Patrice Eméry Lumumba (1925-1961),"

 

He sees in these three leaderships very different styles that do not emanate from external conditions e.g. western oppression etc but more from different temperaments togh perhaps in relation to personal experience.

Aware of his exceptional oratory skills, he opted for soft methods that would not suddenly shake the colonizers’ minds. Despite some riots by his supporters that resulted in his arrest Nkrumah, 1961: 6-7), Nkrumah strongly opposed violence. Beside his speeches, he added The Accra Evening News, a paper in which he published his political views, with a politically-loaded motto on the front page: ‘We prefer self government with danger to servitude in tranquillity’ (Nkrumah, 1961: 10). For him, ‘the battle for self-government went on, not with weapons and bloodshed, but with words’ (Nkrumah, 1961: 14).

 

Nyerere knew that his success relied in the methods he would choose. Like Nkrumah, he excluded bloodshed and abstained from immediately discussing sensible topics to avoid the anger of colonial masters who qualified him as a moderate (Van Harn, 1972: 19). This wise position enabled him to peacefully tour the country on behalf of the just-born Tanganyika African National Union (TANU). Van Harn remarks that the priority of the moment was to get closer to and educate the population rather than to confront the much powerful colonial masters. The British would even receive him as special guest and offer him police protection (Van Harn, 1972: 20-21).

 

Patrice Lumumba’s attitude was different, incoherent and not stable. Unlike Nkrumah and Nyerere who had both attended western universities, Lumumba left school after two years of secondary education. With such limited education, he tried his lot in many trades including poetry, journalism and post office (Lumumba, 1961: 12). In his book – Le Congo Terre d’avenir est-elle menacée? [2] - originally drafted in 1956 but published five years later, Lumumba suggests ‘the adequate solutions, [ and the] new methods dictated by the imperatives of the evolution of the Congo’ (Lumumba, 1961: 17).

 

1956-1957 - it is clear that Lumumba has no liberation agenda. The only urgent issue in his eyes was the low salaries that Congolese workers earned (Lumumba, 1961: 23-24 and 30). His methods were rather against those in Belgium who thought that the Congo would be better off if independent (Lumumba, 1961: 162-3).

 

 Senegalese independence father Léopold Sédar Senghor (1906-2001) did not deny the benefits of the French education for his people but he strongly rejected the idea that France was conducting a ‘civilising mission’. For him, ‘it was time to put an end to the biased image of the negro-African civilisations presented to us as primitive’ (Senghor, 1971: 9).

 

On that same occasion, he announced his plan, which is strikingly similar to Nkrumah’s and Nyerere’s, as it stressed a learning period of autonomy before independence:

…while awaiting total independence, we advocate the federal solution within the French Union, feasible as from now [1946]. That would enable us to quickly assimilate modern techniques and to train the [future] executive staff who would then demand the autonomy for which we are already assured to reach (Senghor, 1971: 18).

The reason why and the time when Lumumba metamorphosed into a vehement and uncompromising anti-colonialist remains unclear. However, it might be argued that his bitterness towards Belgian colonizers started with his imprisonment allegedly for theft during his post office service time [4] . That bitterness most likely took a political form during the December 1958 Accra All African Peoples’ Conference. Organised in Nkrumah’s independent Ghana, the conference called for ‘a final assault on colonialism and imperialism in Africa’ among other things (Nkrumah, 1961: 174). Nkrumah even connects that conference to the first ever serious riots that broke out in the Congo soon after the conference:

Undoubtedly, the stirring message of the Accra Conference gave new momentum to the liberation movement. Riots broke out in the Congo. Many people were killed and hundreds imprisoned. Names hitherto unknown to the world, like Joseph Kasavubu, Lumumba, Tschombe and Ngalula have spread across the front pages of the international press. (Nkrumah, 1961: 186)

The warlike tone (final assault) given by the Accra Conference changed the whole approach and terminology that Lumumba had used in his book some months before. Terms like imperialism, slavery, oppression, and liberation suddenly occupied a central place in his speeches and replaced what he had until then called the Belgian humanitarian and civilising mission.

Lumumba met Guinea revolutionary leader Sekou Touré who briefed him on how to conduct a revolution.

Another big difference of temper and approach among the fathers of modern Africa, was their behaviour on independence days. On his side, Nkrumah showed exemplary humility towards Britain, which did not prevent him from smartly putting in his anti-imperialistic ideas.

 Q: what do we think about these kinds of explanations?

 

and the power of rhetoric:

At last the battle has ended! And thus Ghana, your beloved country, is free for ever…(Nkrumah, 1961: 106)… at this great day let us all remember that nothing in the world can be done unless it has the support of God…(Nkrumah, 1961: 107)… [ Replying to Queen Elisabeth’s representative, the Duchess of Kent]. We part from the former imperial power, Great Britain with the warmest feelings of friendship and goodwill. This is because successive governments in the United Kingdom recognised the realities of the situation in the Gold Coast and adopted their policy accordingly. Thus, instead of bitterness which is often born of colonial struggle, we enter on our independence in association with Great Britain and with good relations unimpaired (Nkrumah, 1961: 108-109).

 

Q: How is Nkrumah playing both ends against the middle?

 

On 30 June 1960, as the Congo officially acquired her independence, Lumumba adopted a totally different attitude that was a continuation of his warlike approach. Contrary to his godfather Nkrumah who respected the elementary protocol principles – by for instance mentioning the honorific titles of his distinguished guests - , Lumumba ignored the presence in the ceremony room of King Baudouin of Belgium, not to mention president Kasavubu and other foreign delegations, and abruptly started his speech with: ‘Men and women of the Congo. Victorious independence fighters’. Lumumba then fell in the ‘bitterness’ trap denounced by Nkrumah by decisively turning his eyes not to the future like Nyerere, but to the past ‘filled with tears, fire and blood’ and loudly proclaiming his proud for ‘putting an end to the humiliating bondage forced upon us’

 

Lumumba’s arrogance on Independence Day and the hostile atmosphere it reflected towards Belgians were crucial during the three difficult months that he stayed in office. The humiliated and hurt Belgians sought an alternative and supported the Katanga secession, mentored the removal, arrest and murder of Lumumba who had had no time to show his leadership skills in an independent free Congo.

 

And clever Nyerere: on 8 December 1961, Tanganyika was celebrating her own independence in joy, with Nyerere closing the independence struggle phase to open the next phase he dubbed: Uhuru na kazi – Freedom and work. Nyerere told his people that independence would not bring any miracle in terms of material gains but only change in their relationships with the white populations (Van Harn, 1972: 25). Like Nkrumah, he did not verbally open fire against the former colonial masters, who, in both cases, were still strong enough to harm and hinder the efforts of the new leaders in one way or another.

  

How for instance did: Nkrumah in Ghana, Nyerere in Tanzania,  Kenyatta in Kenya, even Zik and Awolowo in Nigeria, or Houphouet-Boigny in Cote d'Ivoire, Sekou-Toure in Guinea and so forth manage at least for a few years to successfully lead their countries?

 What did they have?

 the new immediate post-independence elite needed/had?

 nationalist ideology/theory

 and outside inspirations

 based in sometimes surprising radicalising non-african sources

 rooted in political experience and connections/movements outside - in the wider world

 that they can bring back to their people and agitate and disseminate (propaganda)

 

 

 

And the organisation/mobilisation of the masses via:

 Propaganda - Parties:

the main obstacle faced by these first African leaders was that of the Cold War between 1960 and 1990.

Africa, searching for an autonomous development model, was caught in the middle of the East-West confrontation.

Nationalist zealots considered that only the left-wing ideology that was prevalent in the East could help them to

break away from the guardianship of the conquering Westerners. Therefore, almost all political parties which

led Africa to independence were of a Marxist-Leninist persuasion: the African Independence Party in Senegal,

the African Democratic Rally, founded in Bamako in 1946, with notable members Félix Houphouët-Boigny (Côte d’Ivoire),

Ahmed Sékou Touré (Guinea) and Modibo Keita (Mali), the Action Group of Chief Obafemi Awolowo in Nigeria,

the Convention People’s Party of Kwame Nkrumah in Ghana.

  

Respect/Trust?

 Wise-man quality/Teacher and accompanying demeanour?

 Motivation?

 African radical nationalists who emerged from Christian missionary schools included such towering figures as Julius Nyerere, Tom Mboya, Eduardo Mondlane, Robert Mugabe, Leopold Sedar Senghor as well as Nkrumah.

 Nkrumah said of himself: 'I am a Marxist-Leninist and a non-denominational Christian - and I see no contradiction in that'.

 

 

Q: How might you factorise the idea of Leadership and the Leader.

 Case in point: Nkrumah

 

Occasional initially inspired and noticed for their seeming ability by missionaries, and travel and are educated in European or US universities and through making contacts, acquire anti-Imperialist ideas of de-colonisation 1930s/40s (not considered by Agbor et al)

 "Western education was indirectly responsible for creating a group to whom access into the highest levels of the bureaucracy was denied and who constituted the core of the early nationalist movement on the Gold Coast. It was this minority of professional lawyers and intelligentsia who supplied the leadership of nationalist activities throughout most of the colonial period".

 ..and have links to political forces on the (radical even marxist/communist) Left in Britain and elsewhere.  These form the intellectual cardre who foster ideas of independence

  

Take Nkrumah (future President of God Coast/Ghana)

 Initially taught by missionaries, Nkrumah showed promise and trained as a teacher and came under the influence of the Deputy Head of a school where he was doing his teaching practice. Columbia-educated deputy headmaster Kwegyir Aggrey exposed him to the ideas of Marcus Garvey and W. E. B. Du Bois. Aggrey, taught that there should be close co-operation between the races in governing the Gold Coast, but Nkrumah, echoing Garvey, soon came to believe that only when the black race governed itself could there be harmony between the races. Equally he heard Azikiwe  (future President of Nigeria) speak and this reinforced Nkrumah's emerging idea of Black nationalism

 He then went to the USA and then later to UCL and LSE by which time he has also had come under the influence of CLR James the (West Indian Trotskyite) and nationalist activist and communist, George Padmore.

 "After twelve years abroad pursuing higher education, developing his political philosophy, and organizing with other diasporic pan-Africanists, Nkrumah returned to Gold Coast to begin his political career as an advocate of national independence."

 

God had ordained that certain among the African race should journey westwards to equip themselves with knowledge and experience for the day when they would be called upon to return to their motherland and to use the learning they had acquired to help improve the lot of their brethren. ...I had not realized at the time that I would contribute so much towards the fulfillment of this prophecy.

Kwame Nkrumah, The Autobiography of Kwame Nkrumah

  But surely they need to demonstrate their wisdom via rhetoric that offers a vision which embraces critique of existing worlds, strategies towards a new world and a wide-angled theoretical discourse that has appeal in the form of an inspiration of a better world

 and this is ideology

 

 

As such in the first generation of post-independence leaders it is the adoption of an ideology in its classic sense of a 'world-intuition' that is perhaps the glue that links leaders to mass mobilisation and membership of 'the party.

 

This forms what I mentioned in 'Security, new wars..' module - an epistemological community - yet this one is not one that comes fro the people but a top-down one from the Leader/Teacher. An invented one but nonetheless one that also makes sense to the people.

 Perhaps in this case Nyerere's Ujamaa ideals speak better than Nkrumah's largely classical marxist 'Conscienscism'

 

 By way of contrast with today:

 Today...there is a general dearth of ideological discourse in contemporary African electoral politics.

 

Most of the paired comparisons we observe the membership bases of major parties within the same country are not distinguishable from one

another in terms of attitudes on the proper role of the state in the economy or on support for democratic institutions. We also find that, within major parties, attitudes in these areas is usually no less varied than it is within non-partisans in the same country as a group. Since these issues are fundamental sources of ideological cleavage in many political systems, the findings provide further evidence of the non-ideological nature of political discourse in contemporary Africa.

 

...potential impacts of the generally non-ideological nature of African political competition, in terms of the structuration of individuals’ political attitudes. Elite-driven approaches would suggest that the dearth of ideologically toned messages would make it unlikely that citizens would structure their political attitudes according to identifiable dimensions.

 

Post-Third Wave African politics seem substantially different from the immediate post-independence era in a number of ways, one of the most significant being a decreased emphasis of ideological appeals in elite-mass communications. While many parties have not abandoned ideological rhetoric outright, electoral appeals are most commonly made on the bases of individual leaders’ personal characteristics ethnic and other affective identities

 Conroy-Krutz & Lewis, (2011) AfroBarometer no.129, "MAPPING IDEOLOGIES IN AFRICAN LANDSCAPES"

 

European colonialism saw political arenas in many African countries filled with explicitly ideological parties. A number of early post-independence leaders developed or adhered to, at least rhetorically, variations of socialist ideologies.

 

Luís Cabral of Guinea-Bissau,

Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia, United National Independence Party (UNIP)  Zambia,

Modibo Kéïta of Mali, Union Soudanaise-Rassemblement Démocratique Africain (US-RDA) of Mali

Samora Machel Frente de Libertação de Moçambique (FRELIMO) Mozambique,

Alphonse Massemba-Débat of Congo-Brazzaville, National de la Révolution (CNR)

António Aghostino Neto of Angola, Conseil Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola (MPLA),

Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Convention People’s Party (CPP)

Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, Tanganyika African National Union (TANU)

Aristides Pereira of Cape Verde, the Partido Africano da Independência da Guiné e Cabo Verde (PAIGC),

Manuel Pinto da Costa of São Tomé e Príncipe, Movimento de Libertação de São Tomé e Príncipe (MLSTP

Ahmed Sékou Touré of Guinea, Rassemblement Démocratique Africain (RDA)

  

And their political parties crafted electoral appeals or other legitimizing messages accordingly.

 

Other African politicians in this time period embraced capitalist policies and orientations.

 

Félix Houphouët-Boigny and his mass party, the Parti Démocratique de la Côte d'Ivoire (PDCI), supported pro-Western

policies throughout the continent.

 

In Ghana, J. B. Danquah and Kofi Busia, and the United Party (UP), formed the core of the anti-Nkrumahist opposition.

 

And the Union Camerounaise (UC) of Ahmadou Ahidjo maintained power in Yaoundé largely because of French patronage, and it supported pro-Western

capitalism .

 

 Given the global power politics of the Cold War era, this type of self-identification along the capitalist-socialist dimension

could provide a party or politician with crucial support from the East or West.

 

For example, the struggle between rival  politicians Oginga Odinga and Tom Mboya of the Kenya African National Union (KANU)

though same ethnicity (Luo)

 

they different ideological adherences for quite strategic reasons, 

Odinga to attract support from the East,

Mboya from West Government leaders

  

Leaders commonly developed ideological rhetoric, and they invested heavily in mass communication systems to disseminate propaganda.

 

 So part of the qustion is did the new leaders 'mean' their ideology or was it all a charade to mobilise the people

 

There is always a politics to visionary leaders.

 "the problem confronted by the first crop of  political elites or leaders in their various  territories was how to mobilize the values and the energies of their people ,tradition and modern for the development of the territories after independence.  It was within this atmosphere that African socialism emerged as a body of  ideas"  (Alofun, 2014)

 But he question for some and Alofun argues in the affirmative is: was there an African ideology..and in the 60s and African socialism?

 According to Friedland and Rosberg 1964, the common principles of the various versions of African  socialism were: economic development guided by a large public sector, incorporating the African identity and what it means to be African, and the avoidance of the development of social classes within

society.  Senghor claimed that "Africa's social background of tribal community life not only makes socialism natural to Africa but excludes the validity of the theory of class struggle," thus making African socialism, in all of its variations, different from Marxism and European socialist theory

 What then is African socialism?

 

The fact that the originators and proponents are of different temperament and have not often spoken with one voice makes it difficult to give a univocal meaning of the concept . However for a working definition we may say that African socialism is an attempt to recapture and modernize the communal way of life practiced by the traditional African before the exposure to the world and values of the white man.

 Also we can say that it is a search for an altogether different type of  a social system with its root in African soil. It was in this vein that Tom Mboya conceives of African socialism  as  a political philosophy which  stands to restore national values, communal social practice and above all to restore the traditional values in the African socialist mentality and outlook, and to create more values in the changing world of money economy to build an economy which reflects the thinking of the great majority of people.

 Mboya‟s list of basic values and social practices of traditional African consist of the communal spirit, hospitality, hard - work,generosity acceptance and practice of equalitarianism, communal ownership of land, equality of opportunities for all tribal  loyalty and so on.

 Nyerere also views African socialism or „Ujamaa Socialism” as he terms it, as more than a political system, it is a philosophy, a world view as well as a gateway to African selfhood. Nyerere asserts that African socialism is: Essentially an attitude of the mind which involves a change in  personal

attitude and a reconciliation of individuals but goes beyond these to effect structural change consistence with the socialist outlook creating a pattern of justice in which creative and justice in which equality and freedom of all will be assured.

 

Therefore, African socialism calls the modern man back to the land and culture as the source of authentic social  progress and self -hood for there seem to be regretful awareness by the present day African, that being exposed to European  education, culture, values and capitalist exploitative tendency has eroded from the African his true self and has alienated him  for his development, hence the need to pursue progress from the roots of the African  culture

  

Let us look at Nkrumah's 1967 paper: 1967 paper by Nkrumah -

 Does he argue for an African socialism?

 

  and Nyerere who according to Derek Gideon:

 "Nyerere is perhaps best known for his politics of Ujamaa (“familyhood” in Swahili), a vision of socialist development rooted in traditional forms of extended family and collective property. According to Nyerere’s 1962 pamphlet “Ujamaa—the Basis of African Socialism,” “Africans have no more need of being ‘converted’ to socialism than we have of being ‘taught’ democracy. Both are rooted in our past—in the traditional society which produced us” (Nyerere 1967, 170). Rejecting a Marxist vision of class struggle, Nyerere writes that  Ujamaa is different from both “capitalism, which seeks to build a happy society on the basis of the exploitation of man by man” and “doctrinaire socialism which seeks to build its happy society on a philosophy of inevitable conflict between man and man” (Nyerere 1967, 170). In contrast,  Ujamaa

would extend the traditional family unit outward towards a project for building the nation. Tensions between  Ujamaa as a vision of traditional village life and its implementation at the level of a modern nation-state and international politics would remain an ongoing issue..."

 Ujamaa villages” based around collective agriculture came to occupy a central place in the  Ujamaa vision of development. Originally intended to be voluntary, villagization eventually came to be enforced as a matter of government policy

 

'was ever thus - ideology becomes a basis for authoritarianism

 

Q: Why?

 Nyerere on Socialism: Statement on Ujamaa

 

Apart from the anti-social effects of the accumulation of personal wealth, the very desire to accumulate it must be interpreted as a vote of ‘no confidence’ in the social system. For when a society is so organized that it cares about its individuals, then, provided he is willing to work, no individual, then within that society should worry about what will happen to him tomorrow if he does not hoard wealth today. Society itself should look after him, or his widow, or his orphans.

This is exactly what traditional African society succeeded in doing. Both the ‘rich’ and the ‘poor’ individual were completely secure in African society.

 In traditional African society everybody was a worker. There was no other way of earning a living for the community. Even the Elder, who appeared to be enjoying himself without doing any work and for whom everybody else appeared to be working, had, in fact, worked hard all his younger days. The wealth he now appeared to possess was not his, personally; it was only ‘his’ as the Elder of the group which had produced it. He was its guardian.

 Our first step, therefore, must be to re-educate ourselves; to regain our former attitude of mind. In our traditional African society we were individuals within a community. We took care of the community, and the community took care of us. We neither needed nor wished to exploit our fellow men. And in rejecting the capitalist attitude of mind which colonialism brought into Africa, we must reject also the capitalist methods which go with it.

 

We must not allow the growth of parasites here in Tanganyika. The TANU Government must go back to the traditional African custom of land-holding. That is to say a member of society will be entitled to a piece of land on condition that he uses it. Unconditional, or ‘freehold’, owner ship of land (which leads to speculation and parasitism) must be abolished. We must, as I have said, regain our former attitude of mind – our traditional African socialism – and apply it to the new societies we are building today. TANU has pledged itself to make socialism the basis of its policy in every field.

 

The foundation, and the objective, of African socialism is the extended family. The true African socialist does not look on one class of men as his brethren and another as his natural enemies. He does not form an alliance with the ‘brethren’ for the extermination of the ‘non - brethren’. He rather regards all men as his brethren –as members of his ever extending family. That is why the first article of TANU’S Creed is: ‘Binadamu wote ni ndugu zangu, na Afrika ni moja ’. If this had been originally put in English, it could have been: ‘I believe in Human Brotherhood and the Unity of Africa’.‘Ujamaa’, then, or ‘Familyhood’, describes our socialism.

 

 The Arusha Declaration 1967

 Nyerere extends his socialism beyond Africaness and family/brotherhood. 

Bienen (1969) comments: the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU), the ruling party on the mainland of Tanzania, announced the Arusha Declaration, named for the town in the northern part of the country where the Declaration was first promulgated.

 

The Arusha Declaration does not aim to create a. classless society at the expense of the country's economic development, but it gives social goals primacy over more narrowly defined economic ones.

It calls for a rectification of a mistaken emphasis in the past on industrial growth, and a new concern with agriculture and rural society in general. The agricultural policy also emphasizes self-reliance in instructing the people to be self-sufficient in food, clothing and housing. The country is to exploit its resources of land and agriculture, the people and good leadership. The policy of socialism and self-reliance is itself seen as an exploitable resource.

Arusha's economic policy breaks with the recent past only to return to some specific measures of an earlier period. For the primacy of rural development, with emphasis on cottage industry, primary schooling and piecework payment in communally organized work settings all had their precedents in the colonial period. The political and social context in which these practices are now to be undertaken, however, is obviously greatly different from that of colonial times and even from that of Tanzania's recent past. For the Arusha Declaration marks a determination on the part of Tanzania's leadership not to be bound to the same course as other independent countries in tropical Africa.

Indeed, Arusha is a reaction against Tanzania's incipient tendency to reproduce patterns of development which have become clearer in more economically advanced African countries and which are felt to be inimical to the stated goals of equality, socialism, rural improvement and national control over indigenous resources.

 

and this is a challenge to westernisation that is taking place under the guise of modernization programmes.

Bienen is quite excited by it. He notes:

In Tanzania, however, agricultural development has been defined as the building of rural socialism, which means increasing production through the construction of Ujamaa or communal and cooperative villages (rather than either state-farms or independent peasant homesteads).