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Missions, Education and Conversion in Colonial Africa

Felix Meier zu Selhausen ()

No 48/2019, African Economic History Working Paper from African Economic History Network

Abstract: This chapter traces the origins and long-term development of African mass-education in colonial sub-Saharan Africa. Specifically, it addresses the unique role of Christian missions in prompting a genuine schooling revolution and explores the comparative educational expansion across colonies and between genders. While the initial expansion of missions was motivated by a global competition for new church members, the development of African mass-education essentially depended on local conditions. It highlights the importance of African agency in the process towards mass-education that depended on local demand for formal education and the supply of African teachers who provided the bulk of mission schooling. The chapter also assesses potential pitfalls when those realities are not considered by studies, investigating historical missionary legacies on present-day African education and social mobility.

Keywords: Christian Missionaries; Education; Africa; Gender; Colonialism; Religion; Human Capital; African Agency (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: N37 N57 N97 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 32 pages
Date: 2019-09-02
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his
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