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Foundations of the American CenturyThe Ford, Carnegie, and Rockefeller Foundations in the Rise of American Power$
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Inderjeet Parmar

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231146296

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231146296.001.0001

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Ford, Rockefeller, and Carnegie in Nigeria and the African Studies Network

Ford, Rockefeller, and Carnegie in Nigeria and the African Studies Network

(p.149) 6 Ford, Rockefeller, and Carnegie in Nigeria and the African Studies Network
Foundations of the American Century

Inderjeet Parmar

Columbia University Press

This chapter explores the philanthropic interventions of the Carnegie Corporation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Ford Foundation in Nigeria. These American foundations in the 1950s had thought of Africa as backward, barbaric, violent, and stagnant. But due to Africa's significance to Britain, an American ally, the Carnegie Corporation consequently catalyzed the development of African higher education and the founding of the African Studies Association in 1957, with a disproportionate focus on the white people of South Africa. The Rockefeller Foundation, whose initial focus was also on education, was far more interested in Africa's political and economic development later on. The Ford Foundation collaborated with U.S. state agencies and engaged in active institution-building programs, such as economic planning units at the University of Ife and behavioral sciences at the University of Ibadan. Although they were intended to alleviate poverty and “underdevelopment,” the foundations' achievements fell short due to the conflict of interests between African nationalists and British colonials.

Keywords:   Carnegie Corporation, Rockefeller Foundation, Ford Foundation, Nigeria, Britain, African Studies Association, economic planning units, University of Ife, behavioral sciences, University of Ibadan

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