“Among the many problems of Africa there is none that has attracted more discussion, and indeed more controversy, than that of the type of education which should be given to the African.”Footnote 1 Thus stated William Malcolm Hailey in his famous report An African Survey: A Study of Problems Arising in Africa South of the Sahara published in 1938. In this monumental work, which marked the starting point of a new orientation in British colonial policy, on many issues, the eminent former member of the Indian Civil Service noted the great diversity of policies that were in force not only in the British possessions in Africa but also in the French, Belgian, and Portuguese territories. Variation ruled (at least in the policies proclaimed to be implemented), but the centrality of education in the colonial project was highlighted, at least rhetorically. For sure, the “educability” of the native had been the subject of numerous debates and experiments since the late nineteenth century, frequently shaped by culturalist and racialist arguments in the aftermath of formal abolitionism. In the early twentieth century, they continued, with various motivations and purposes, in different international and colonial contexts.Footnote 2

The same happened with the debates about the usefulness of “native education,” at the metropoles and at the colonies. Problems such as the necessity and the utility of the provision of educational services in Africa, for settlers and for the colonial subjects, were the object of numerous appreciations. A diversity of arguments and positions emerged within imperial and international circles in relation to the role that education could or should play in the economic and social transformation of African societies.Footnote 3 Paradigms such as “adapted,” “vocational,” “mass,” or “fundamental” education, elaborated within long-standing and enduring racialized frameworks, had a significant role in the ways in which European colonial administrations strove to improve the living standards of local populations, so to legitimize imperial rule or even enable some forms of controlled self-government. Similarly, education was also a crucial realm for newly independent countries, as part of ambitious political and socioeconomic modernization schemes.

Despite the importance of these issues, the burgeoning historiography focused on “development”Footnote 4—innovative, solid and compelling as it is—has not reflected this fact accordingly.Footnote 5 Admittedly, economic historians have attempted to assess the impact of education on current macroeconomic performances of African countries.Footnote 6 Using quantitative methods, they have identified historical factors that could explain contemporary inequalities, such as transatlantic slavery trade, the presence of missions’ stations or the degree of public investments in institutions like schools.Footnote 7 These studies demonstrate, among other things, the relevance of long-term historical analysis to the understanding of developmentalism.Footnote 8 However, they often fail to fully appreciate the complex, changing and sometimes contradictory processes that shaped the link between education and socioeconomic change.Footnote 9

This collective edited volume aims to fill this gap. It contributes to a closer interaction between the historiographies and historical trajectories of education and development, pointing to the co-constitution of arguments, debates, and policies focused on both colonial and postcolonial Africa. Drawing on empirical and multilingual enquiries, the contributors examine a vast array of actors, discourses, and projects aiming at the mise en valeur and at the socioeconomic transformation—in some circles seen as “the theory of modernization”Footnote 10—of the African continent and respective societies. Several key aspects of such a process will be highlighted, including transnational and inter-imperial entanglements, as well as continuities and ruptures between the colonial era and the post-independence years. The question at stake is to determine how and why the raise of educational standards of indigenous populations and the training of local elites became a key feature within imperial, national, and international agendas, in different ways and with distinct timings, as part of evolving development theses and projects produced by European administrations, missionaries, intergovernmental organizations, as well as African, Western, and Eastern countries.

During the twentieth century, three phases—or critical junctures—can be identified, during which the economic and social goals of education were profoundly reconfigured and its place in projects of societal and economic transformation evolved.Footnote 11

On Adaptability and “Useful Producers” (1900–1930)

The first phase, spanning the period between 1900 and 1930, coincided with the introduction of the first “native” educational systems in the wake of the scramble for Africa which had started in the last decades of the nineteenth century. These systems, which worked as such more de jure than de facto, were dominated by missionaries, widely acting in behalf of colonial authorities (although a clear distinction between Catholic and Protestant dynamics must be made in this respect).Footnote 12 From the beginning of modern missionary expansion (at least since the sixteenth century), education was an essential aspect of the activities of the missions, although conversion was surely more pivotal (in some cases, the two might be closely related). For Catholic and Protestant missionaries, conversion required learning local languages, teaching European languages, and adapting, sometimes forcefully, local concepts to Christian beliefs (and, often, vice versa). Missionaries carried more than a religious vision with them. They also embodied news ways of understanding sociocultural difference, and in different ways, they promoted a complex and multilayered set of assumptions commonly associated with the idea of “civilising mission.” Furthermore, they often promoted a concept of “education through labour,” intermingled with arguments of African purported laziness and idleness, which governed European perspective about African populations during colonial times. As some of the texts in this volume show, missions acquired a significant, frequently criticized, centrality in the provision of educational services to African populations, reproducing, at least on paper, European schooling models (see, for instance, the French and the Belgian cases). Needless to say, and despite some perspectives that obscure this fact, their role varied in time and space, and it is not easily described and classified. Their actual intervention was diverse, and caution is needed when reading the existing statistics and reports. Like many other examples regarding imperial and colonial action, the rhetoric of “conversion” was frequently contradicted by closer inspections, including by the missionary or ecclesiastical actors themselves. The competition for “souls,” among missionary societies, Christian denominations, and between Church and State, led to significant overestimations (some uncritically reproduced in contemporary assessments). Finally, their impact on forms of belief and social practices, on education and development, at the time and throughout time, was also plural, requiring much more than simple forms of causality.

The “effective occupation” proved hard to succeed, and clearly, the priorities of imperial governments and colonial administration rested not on the significant provision of educational services. Regarding the latter, this period was characterized not so much by the extent of practical achievements, despite the considerable, and formal, expansion of missionary schools, as by intense debates on the “content” of education and, in particular, its adaptation to the putative social, economic, and cultural specificities of African populations and territories.Footnote 13 The general goal was to strike a balance between the imperatives of “moral conquest”—as conceptualized in 1917 by Georges Hardy, Director of Education in West French AfricaFootnote 14—and the concerns linked to the “detribalization” and “social displacement” caused by a supposedly too abstract and literary education which emulated the metropolitan one. Given the need to sustain the efforts to foster “legitimate commerce,” in relation to the protracted dynamics of abolition of slave trade and slavery, and the need to regulate the uses of coerced and “contract” labor, the ponderations about “native education” also appeared connected to the debates on how to guarantee the availability of African manpower. Faced with these problems, the solutions envisaged and the educational models put in place by European colonial powers were particularly diverse throughout the territories.Footnote 15 There was no coherent and unified educational project, but rather different and changing realities from one colony to another. The “moral conquest” meant slightly different things from colonial empire to colonial empire, from colony to colony, from administration to administration. Moreover, as happened with many other topics, the distance between proclaimed educational policies and the actual administrative practices was frequently unsurmountable.

After the First World War, colonial education progressively acquired new objectives, partially in response to the new League of Nations’ concept of “trusteeship” and the growing native demand for education (which also varied from one context to another).Footnote 16 The French Minister for Colonies Albert Sarraut, for example, placed training and education in the program for the mise en valeur of African territories, which covered port and river development, railway and road construction, and also health care improvement. In this framework, education was supposed to not only be made widely available to the rural masses, but also be focused on practical objectives. It had to convey “practical experimental” notions, orient native children toward “manual trades,” and prepare “useful producers” (producteurs utiles).Footnote 17 This practical emphasis was used by many, in diverse ways, some to justify the opposition to the role played by the religious entities in education in colonial contexts (partially a projection of ongoing conflicts at the metropole), while others to foster ideas of (forced) labor as quintessentially an educational instrument. This was noticeable at the metropoles but it was also manifest in the debates regarding the possibilities of economic change or the suppression of slavery and implementation of new forms of labor exaction within the League of Nations.Footnote 18 Similar considerations to those of Sarraut were also expressed by Lord Lugard in his work The Dual Mandate, published in 1922. This influential volume stated that the goal of village schools was to “improve the village craftsmen and agriculturists, to raise the standard of life, comfort, and intelligence in the village community.”Footnote 19

The emergence of this “developmentalist” discourse accompanied the introduction of forms of education through labour, in a context marked by the intensification of the internationalization of imperial and colonial affairs, not least about the “conditions analogous to slavery.”Footnote 20 For instance, those forms followed the example of the coercive measure called deuxième portion du contingent (“second part of the contingent”) which was created in 1926 in French West Africa (see the chapter of Romain Tiquet). The first vocational and technical study programs were also established—for example, in North Africa (see the chapter of Michael A. Kozakowski) and in the German colonies (see the chapter of Jakob Zollmann)—even though they remained very limited and were sometimes restricted to white population.Footnote 21

The publication in 1922 and 1925 of two reports on African education commissioned by the American philanthropic foundation Phelps-Stokes Fund (PSF) represented an important turning point in the international and (inter)imperial formulation of colonial educational policies, although its impact is yet to be comparatively studied. The transatlantic circulation of educational models and potential policies (and other Alabamas in Africa) was differently engaged by different colonial powers.Footnote 22 Even those, such as the Portuguese, that were not the primordial focus of the study—not least because of the close connections between the state and the Catholic Church and of the convoluted relationship with foreign missions since the mid-nineteenth century—nonetheless reacted to the reports’ findings.Footnote 23 Written in the wake of missions carried out by Thomas Jesse Jones, a leading member of the PSF and a former director of the Research Department of Hampton Institute in Virginia (one of the pioneer colleges for black students in the United States), the reports put forward precise suggestions with regard to adapting local schools systems to “the educational needs of Africa,” in particular “those pertaining to the hygienic, economic, social, and religious conditions of the Native people.”Footnote 24

Taking up the educational model used with black Americans since the mid-nineteenth century, Jones’s proposed policy could be summed up into four categories which he called “The Four Essentials of Education”: health, home life training, industry (including agriculture), and recreation.Footnote 25 Education was meant to serve primarily the needs of the community, particularly agricultural and industrial ones, rather than provide literary knowledge that had supposedly little relevance or utility in African economic life. These utilitarian principles were embraced, directly or indirectly, by many colonial administrations (once again, for different reasons, with distinct aims).Footnote 26 In 1925, for example, the first report submitted to the British Colonial Office by the Advisory Committee on Native Education in British Tropical Africa emphasized that education “should be adapted to the mentality, aptitudes, occupations and traditions of the various peoples”Footnote 27 and that it had to help improve agriculture, “native industries,” and health. Adopting these principles, which were also amply discussed within international and intercolonial bodies,Footnote 28 new school institutions were created, some of them famous, such as the Achimota College in the Gold Coast.Footnote 29 In French West Africa, in the early 1930s, Governor General Jules Brévié and school inspector Albert Charton recommended changing “village schools” to “rural schools” (écoles rurales), where an important place would be given to agricultural education (with the creation, for example, of school gardens) and to manual trades.Footnote 30

This reorientation of educational policies came up against several problems. On the one hand, the paradigm of “adapted education” was often met with hostility among African elites, who saw it as education “on the cheap” devoid of attractiveness and any prospect of social promotion, as reported by Léopold Sédar Senghor in 1937.Footnote 31 Its “practical” positive consequences were questioned; its social, cultural, and economic effects criticized. What “development” would arise from it? Who would benefit from it? What did its implementation say about the ways the colonizers saw the colonized? On the other hand, there was no large-scale funding for the development of colonial school systems. Budgetary restrictions and policy options, for political but also sociocultural reasons, justified that fact, among other aspects. Overall, school-enrollment rates were very low, although there were significant territorial differences.Footnote 32 Despite the rhetoric around the mise en valeur of colonies, education remained a relatively neglected area of public investment, both for economic and political reasons. But the “educability” of the “natives” never ceased to be pondered.Footnote 33 This can be said of every European colonial empire in Africa. Arguments and debates abounded, numerous policies were proclaimed, but resources, human and financial, were scarce, and unevenly distributed. As a result, in a moment in which they were internally debating how to position themselves in the world born out of Versailles, missionaries continued to play a leading part, especially in British Africa, Belgian Congo, and the Italian East African colonies (see the chapter of Caterina Scalvedi). In the Portuguese case similar dynamics occurred, although the scarcity of educational services was matched by the feebleness of ecclesiastical and missionary ones, despite the rhetoric of the “civilizing mission.”Footnote 34

Development, After Depression (1930–1960)

The debates on the content and goals of colonial education evolved in the 1930s. The decade marked the start of what can be seen as a second phase, lasting until independence. The effects of the Great Depression encouraged more attention being paid to education’s economic and social repercussions, including in colonial realms. Together with the first signs of greater state intervention in colonial science research, new ideas on colonial education started to develop within many missionary and philanthropic circles (in this regard, see Peter Kallaway’s timeline at the end of Chapter 2).Footnote 35 International missionary networks, grouped together within the International Missionary Council (1921) led by Joseph Oldham, devoted several of their conference sessions to the links between the education and welfare of African populations.Footnote 36 For instance, in 1926, in Le Zoute, Belgium, a meeting devoted to the “Christian mission” in Africa was clear on the statement that was widely acknowledged “not only by missionaries but by administrators” that “the future” of Africa was associated with “the moral, physical and intellectual development of the African peoples.” As its reporter wrote, at the conference everyone “expressed its economic faith in this sentence.” And he added, continuing to echo the general consensus at the meeting: “Europeans of themselves cannot carry out that development. The Africans as they were, and still are to a very large extent, cannot carry it out. Only by a process of education—which includes work, but much more—can they be fitted to take their share in developing Africa. Physical and moral improvement of the African is a necessary condition of the economic development of the continent.”Footnote 37 On the Catholic side, similar points could be made, perhaps with more emphasis on religious education and conversion (see the chapter of Caterina Scalvedi). European humanitarian organizations too saw in the expansion of education a means to combine civilizational demands with native “well-being.” At the 1931 International Conference on African Children held in Geneva by the Save the Children International Union, the Swiss missionary and ethnographer Henri-Alexandre Junod, president of the Bureau international pour la défense des indigènes, stated that education was an essential means not only for achieving economic progress in Africa, but also for “certain elements of civilization,” following the example of norms of hygiene, to reach “as far as the lower levels of the population.”Footnote 38

This new outlook led the way to the great reorientations taking place in the 1940s. The Mass Education in African Society report published by the Colonial Office in 1944 provided a new conceptual basis for rethinking the role of education in raising living standards. As emphasized by one of its authors, Margaret Wrong, secretary to the International Committee on Christian Literature for Africa, “it has been proved that the attainment of literacy makes people aware of the need for social and economic improvements, and therefore they will co-operate more readily with welfare and other agencies working on these lines.”Footnote 39 Thus, the spread of school education, the fight against illiteracy, and the improvement of adult education were directly linked with the economic and social modernization of African colonies, as attested also by the conclusions of the Brazzaville conference convened in 1944 by the authorities of Free France.Footnote 40 Thanks to the Colonial and Development Welfare Act (CDWA)—adopted in 1940 and revised in 1945—as well as the creation of the Fonds d’investissement pour le développement économique et social (FIDES) in France (1946) and the Fonds du bien-être indigene in Belgium (1947, followed by the Plan décennal pour le développement économique et social du Congo belge in 1949), significant financial resources were growingly invested in the educational sector. Education represented between 6 and 7% of the total budget of the FIDES, and about 20% of the budget of the CDWA (100 million pounds over 10 years). Part of a new “modernising mission,”Footnote 41 colonial development policies took shape around two major axes: on the one hand, building schools and expanding the educational offer, including at university level by creating of colonial universities and increasing the number of scholarships for studying in the metropole (see the chapter of Hélène Charton); on the other hand, European administrations carried out more delimited projects targeting the “community development” of towns and rural villages.Footnote 42 Such was the case, for example, of the mass education and adult education experiments conducted in French and British Africa from the late 1940s, in rural centers in Belgium Congo, or in Algerian Centres sociaux which were created in 1955 and were active throughout the war (see the chapter of Brooke Durham).

These new priorities echoed the new international context emerging after the Second World War, and in particular the United Nations agenda. Indeed, UN specialized agencies, particularly the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), embarked on ambitious programs for providing technical assistance to “underdeveloped” countries.Footnote 43 Naturally, education became a recurrent topic.Footnote 44 In this context, senior officials such as Julian Huxley (first Director General of UNESCO) and John Bowers (head of the Department of Fundamental Education) fostered a vast conceptual undertaking for the purpose of formulating an educational doctrine specially designed for countries of the Global South.Footnote 45 Known under the name of “Fundamental Education,” it was tested beginning with 1947 within several pilot projects carried out in Haiti, Nyasaland, and China.Footnote 46 The introduction of a global agenda that was centered on the fight against illiteracy and educational inequalities throughout the world, including “non-self-governing territories,” stimulated the institutionalization of new forms of technical cooperation of an intercolonial nature which gained in importance beginning with the late 1940s (see the chapter of Hugo Gonçalves Dores and Miguel Bandeira Jerónimo).Footnote 47 Thus, in the context of a “crisis of the empires,”Footnote 48 education became an important area for certifying, within national and international circles, the metropoles’ commitment to the “well-being” and living standards of the colonized populations.

Competing Projects (1960–1990)

The independence wave sweeping over the early 1960s opened up a new phase marked by the political aspirations of the new independent states and Cold War tensions. Placed at the centre of the demands made by nationalist and pan-African movements, education became a priority for the new African governments. In this regard, decolonization raised specific problems: Low school-enrollment rates and high illiteracy rates, coupled with the departure of colonial senior staff, posed the immediate problem of a lack of qualified staff in administrations and certain economic sectors. Accordingly, the formation of a national elite and intelligentsia became a major goal in support of economic modernization and nation-building in African countries (see the chapter of Eric Burton), along with the promotion of mass schooling.

In a context that some sociologists have described as a “world educational revolution”Footnote 49 characterized by a spectacular increase in school-enrollment rates, development aid for Africa became a major issue in North–South relations. Seeking to establish and defend their economic and cultural sphere of influence, the former metropoles quickly set up cooperation agreements which especially provided for financial contributions toward building schools or for sending European staff to secondary education and higher education institutions.Footnote 50 Foreign staff and coopérants occupied an important place within educational systems, in many countries reaching levels as high as 80–90%.Footnote 51 Starting with the early 1960s and the launch of the “Decade of Development,” international organizations also played an important role in the assessment of educational needs, in the “africanization” of structures and programs, as well as the planning of long-term educational expansion, as attested by the plan developed at the Addis Ababa conference in May 1961.Footnote 52 Last but not least, the two superpowers—United States and Soviet Union—invested massively in programs meant to encourage the inflow of African students into their own countries. The philanthropic foundations Ford, Rockefeller, and Carnegie were particularly active in this respect.Footnote 53 Similarly, Eastern Bloc countries set up several programs for training future African elites.Footnote 54 Higher education in particular became one of the areas where “socialist solidarity” gained expression (as pointed out in the chapter of Alexandra Piepiorka), especially in the form of sending experts on-site or creating ad hoc institutions such as Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow in 1960.Footnote 55

Two aspects pertaining to the postcolonial period need to be emphasized. On the one hand, developmentalist discourses and practices were often part of a profound continuity with the colonial era. For instance, experts who had worked for colonial administrations in the 1940s and 1950s were, for example, mobilized as consultants by African governments or as specialists by international organizations.Footnote 56 In several respects, development aid, whether of a bilateral or multilateral nature, became a way to “recycle” the empire.Footnote 57 Similarly, the extracurricular measures for training young people and “getting them into work” that were put in place by African governments after independence drew directly on experiments carried out during the colonial period (as showed in the chapter of Romain Tiquet). On the other hand, development aid through education became one area where Cold War tensions and rivalries crystallized.Footnote 58 In this sense, postcolonial Africa represented an arena of competing projects which lay at the centre of global interactions between knowledge and players, where repertoires and paradigms that were tested there evolved based on the dealings between governments and foreign-aid players.

The contributions gathered in this volume deal with these long historical trajectories by drawing on several local case studies based on in-depth archival research. The authors have looked at various geographical spaces—ranging from the French, British, German, and Italian empires to independent countries such as Mali, Senegal, Mozambique, and Tanzania. All levels of education are investigated, from primary to university education, including extracurricular education. Taken as a whole, the chapters allow us to better understand the specificities of each of the three critical junctures presented above. Certainly, it would be possible to increase the number of case studies and territories under observation in order to identify other stakeholders, discourses, practices, and legacies. For example, the role of international organizations should be further examined, and the same goes for the postcolonial period, which would deserve more detailed case studies. Despite these aspects, this volume offers a renewed perspective on the successive reconfigurations of the relationship between education and development in Africa, thus helping to open up new research avenues, both on the historiography of development and on the one on colonial education.

Overview: Themes and Problems

This book is organized around three distinct, but complementary, sub-themes. The first part focuses on the link between education and the raise of living standards. The chapters investigate the ways in which education became increasingly linked to issues such as health, nutrition, agriculture, and social welfare, which were relevant topics in the debates on development and human progress of African colonized populations, but also in newly independent countries. In fact, different educational programs were substantially focused on these aspects, envisioning the organization of a new societal environment, with specific consequences in traditional societies. The first chapter, by Peter Kallaway, focuses on the relationships between education and social welfare in British Africa. By following the process of construction of a modern network of educational experts throughout the first half of twentieth century, he highlights different, but often correlated, backgrounds, and elucidates in which way they contributed to debates about colonial education. As Kallaway shows, government officials, missionary organizations (such as the International Missionary Council), and philanthropic institutions were key players in shaping development discourses and practices. Therefore, acknowledging the role of this multitude of actors is essential to understand the complexity and variety of proposals and objectives which dealt with education. Such perspective is emphasized by Brooke Durham. Her chapter focuses on the creation of centres sociaux in French Algeria right before independence. This government-sponsored development initiative pledged to provide “fundamental education” to adults and children, rudimentary medical services, and job training. The centres sociaux constitute one example of the attempts by the imperial and colonial administrations to transform different aspects related to the living of those under colonial rule. Durham explores the limits and possibilities of this initiative, which was supposedly apolitical, during a time of increasing conflict between imperial and nationalist forces. She clearly demonstrates that education was part of, and crucial to, a project of social control. This question is also discussed by Romain Tiquet’s chapter, which investigates the legacies of French-established second portion du contingent of French West Africa in the youth civil service implemented in independent Mali and Senegal. Highlighting the “civilizing mission” rhetoric and its defense of education through labour for African populations, Tiquet also argues that postcolonial elites, in both countries, perpetuated these dynamics, in order to foster social control and economic development after independence.

The second part of the volume deals with issues related to the training of workers and future local elites. The chapters highlight the importance of technical and vocational curricula for urban and rural workers while many projects maintained the idea of education through labour and the long-standing racialized assertions of African “laziness” or “idleness.” They also point out the ambiguities of that kind of colonial education, which was thought to serve imperial rule and to improve the economic productivity of colonial territories, but in many contexts became determinant to the increase of independence movements. Jakob Zollmann sheds light on agricultural education in German South West Africa, between the end of nineteenth century and the First World War. He examines the discussions about which education policy should be applied to European and African children, defining their role in society, economy, and, by extension, colonial development. The chapter by Caterina Scalvedi explores the monopolizing role played by Catholic missionaries in the building of the first state-sponsored school system in Italian Somalia during the interwar years. Having as background the emergence of a centralized and coercive colonial state, Scalvedi examines the different educational opportunities available to both Italian and African children and how school curricula were closely related to the economic needs of the colony. In this regard, technical and vocational education played a key role. In his contribution, Michael A. Kozakowski shows how French colonial administration sought to use technical and vocational education to induce economic transformation in interwar Morocco. As he argues, vocational education should produce loyal subjects, useful workers for the “Greater France,” and, in some way, mitigate the dangers of new social aspirations and resulting conflicts brought by economic development and education. The training of competent economic actors was also a key issue in the postcolonial era, as Eric Burton demonstrates. His chapter analyzes the creation of the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Dar es Salaam as result of a pressing need of modernization and economic development in 1960s Tanzania. The faculty, which started as a Soviet endeavor and was later dominated by (West) German support, became an important place where the principles of Tanzanian socialist project—ujamaa—were undermined, throughout a process marked by ideological conflicts on the role of university education in society. If the University was seen as a “hotbed” of revolutionary fervor and leftist radicalism, the faculty was marked by technocratic considerations of manpower planning and careering.

The third and final part of the book examines how the circulation of ideas, people and practices between and beyond empires and nation-states contributed to forge the link between education and “development.” It focuses on the ways Africa became an arena of competing projects devised by different actors, from intergovernmental organizations to imperial administrations and other European countries, against the background of the Cold War and decolonization. The chapters highlight the connections and rivalries among this multitude of actors, projects, and institutions, as well as the continuities and ruptures between the colonial and postcolonial periods. They also address education and its instrumental role in the overall developmentalist idea. Hugo Gonçalves Dores and Miguel Bandeira Jerónimo’s chapter studies how the Commission for Technical Cooperation in Africa South of the Sahara (CCTA), an inter-imperial organization created in 1950, addressed the problem of colonial education. Tracing the renewed attempts launched by imperial powers to establish some forms of cooperation after the Second World War, the text scrutinizes in which way they sought to use education to reshape their developmentalist strategies, in social and economic fields, and to reinforce their arguments legitimizing imperial rule. Hélène Charton analyzes the university reforms designed by British imperial authorities in the 1940s and its impact on the new social and political agenda of British East Africa. These higher education projects, which include the creation of universities in African territories and the multiplication of scholarships in metropolitan institutions, were, as Charton states, at the heart of postwar modernization policies. By tracing new educational modalities, imperial administrations tried to forge a new local elite and deepen the links between metropole and colony. Finally, Alexandra Piepiorka’s text focuses on postcolonial attempts to remodel the colonial university system and to readapt it to the new political and social context. Piepiorka uses the Eduardo Mondlane University (Mozambique) to trace the spirit of “socialist solidarity” in the context of educational aid coming from Eastern countries toward Africa’s newly independent nations.