King's College London
Exhibitions & Conferences
Hidden voices of Empire

Persistence of traditional viewpoints

A question submitted to the publication If you ask me …  regarding developmentA question submitted to If you ask me…  regarding developmentAlthough some individuals, like Mr and Mrs Musoke (as previously discussed in the section on Shifting views) may have been persuaded of development’s benefits, and despite a claim in the 1950 West African annual that ‘traditional opposition to any changes in peasant agriculture is dying out’, a question in a 1961 edition of If you ask me… reproduced to the right shows that this view persisted:

Don’t you think that the newly independent and emergent countries would be better off today if they had been left alone to develop and had not developed through contact with the colonialists?

An article entitled: Intense mechanisation only way to open up Nigerian agriculture, with farming machinery visibleAn article entitled: Intense mechanisation only way to open up Nigerian agriculturePerhaps the vast array of pro-development propaganda in the periodicals further supports the existence of such reluctance, otherwise why would it be necessary?

It is also important to note that this depiction of reluctance may be a more palatable way of portraying outright colonial resistance to imperialist policies, which would have been looked upon unfavourably by the editors of the periodicals.

The extract of the article reproduced on the right, from the 1950 West African annual is keen to promote development within agricultural policies - and the advertisement opposite reflects a growing commercial market to support this.

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