Africa was wide-open territory for expatriate scientists, engineers and technicians during much of the 20th century. British Colonial Africa was considered ripe for commercial and economic progress and 'Development' was the watchword and basis of government policy, as is clear from the Colonial Development and Welfare Acts. Africa was seen as a continent full of excitement and challenge, as well as a unique opportunity to use skills and knowledge in a new environment and - after the Second World War - far from the drabness of `austerity' Britain. Here were opportunities for sport, travel, friendship and a new life among a rich variety of people and places. Alan Hayward came from a family of technicians and engineers - his father was an inventor and his brother worked on decoding operations at Bletchley Park - and after his degree in chemistry and a career in food science, he was recruited by the Colonial Service to work in Nigeria in 1948. He and his team researched ways of improving the quality of subsistence foodstuffs and export crops comprising cocoa, groundnuts and palm oil - all vital for the nascent colonial economy and export trade. African Colonial life provided expatriates with an immense and fascinating challenge. Hayward sets his development work in an exciting and vibrant context of exotic travel, sport - a huge expatriate enthusiasm - and a rich social life. Africa Called brings Africa and its peoples, especially Nigeria, to life and paints a picture of an optimistic Africa approaching decolonisation and far from later disillusionment.
Scientists and Development in Nigeria