A group study of African political agents, this work develops the
role of the agents as brokers in the British colonial
administration of northern Nigeria. African political agents
bridged the communication gap between the foreign rulers and the
indigenous people, a task only they could perform in colonial
administration, owing to their knowledge of the local languages and
cultures as well as some English and colonial government
conventions. As brokers, political agents controlled communication
between the colonial authorities and the indigenous rulers. Agents
assisted government diplomacy and helped to establish and maintain
relations between the colonial government and the native rulers.
Agents gathered information that was needed for policy-making in
administration, and many of them would perform administrative
duties. In essence, the role of political agents reflects the
dynamics of interdependence and power relations in colonial
governance and administration in northern Nigeria. Knowledge of
agents' activities is important for the academic community
including Africanist scholars, graduate and undergraduate students,
as well as educated general readers.
Philip Atsu Afeadie obtained B.A. History from University of Ghana (1985), M.A. History from University of Calgary (1989), and Ph.D History from York University, Ontario, Canada (1996). Afeadie teaches African history at the Chang School of Continuing Education at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada.
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