Towards Independence in Africa
A District Officer in Uganda at the End of Empire
AUTHOR: Walker, Patrick
PUBLISHER: I. B. Tauris & Company, Limited
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Politics were often turbulent in African countries in the period leading to their independence in the 1950s and beyond. But for Ugandans and the Colonial Administration alike this was a time of hope and optimism -- though fears for the future of the ‘Westminister Model,’ nurtured so carefully by the Colonial Administration, were never absent. Already there were dark clouds of future tragedy over the neighboring Congo and Rwanda.
Patrick Walker, who was a District Officer in the region, draws on his vivid personal experience to illustrate both the hope and tragedy of that tempestuous time. Posted to Uganda in 1956, he served in both the Eastern and Western Provinces. His first experience of national politics was the General Election of 1958 and he played a leading role in organizing and supervising subsequent elections including, in his district, the Election of 1962.
However, despite an apparently tranquil march to independence and statehood, Uganda was not to escape Africa's turmoil. Independence in the Congo brought a flood of Belgian refugees into Uganda in 1960, followed by the Tutsis -- the former dominant group in Rwanda -- fleeing the Hutu majority following Rwanda’s independence in 1962. All these different groups had to be settled and administered, and Patrick Walker takes the reader to the heart of these tragedies -- with ominous warningsof future ethnic and tribal conflict.
This is an important memoir which will be of the greatest possible interest to historians of Africa and the British Empire as well as of Uganda itself.
PUBLICATION DATE: 8/15/2009
CATEGORY: Biography & Autobiography, History, Political Science