Watson Institute at Brown University
Africa Initiative

CANCELED: Priya Lal ─ Making Human Resources and Building Nations in Southeastern Africa

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

12:00pm – 1:00pm

McKinney Conference Room, 111 Thayer Street


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Shortly after independence, leftist governments in Tanzania and Zambia adopted ambitious socialist policies that promised universal access to welfare state services and prioritized the cultivation of national self-reliance. Yet decades of debilitating colonialism had left these same countries with few citizens with advanced degrees, no universities, and scarce hospitals. This talk investigates how these postcolonial states strove to overcome this daunting challenge by training and sustaining a highly skilled workforce of African professionals, focusing in particular on efforts to set up national universities in both countries.

Africa Speaker Series

Priya Lal is an Associate Professor of History at Boston College. With the support of an American Council of Learned Societies fellowship, she is currently working on a book entitled Human Resources about the training, labor, and circulation of educational and medical professionals in and beyond southeastern Africa since independence. Her first book, African Socialism in Postcolonial Tanzania: Between the Village and the World, tells the story of Tanzania's socialist experiment, the ujamaa villagization initiative of the 1960s and 70s; it was published in 2015 by Cambridge University Press and received an Honorable Mention for the African Studies Association's Bethwell Ogot Book Prize.