It is now well over a hundred and fifty years since the first celebrated geographical explorations of Africa took place. However, it was many years before there began quests of a different kind – the investigation of behaviour, personality, attitude and ability among Africa’s people. Originally published in 1975, this book is an account of that work: the first explorations in Africa of psychology.
In an exhaustive and well-documented report the author, a psychologist who had himself done research in Nigeria, Uganda and who had lectured at Makerere University, drew together the main threads of the research carried out so far, putting the issues in an African perspective but anchoring them firmly within the framework of modern psychological thinking and technique of the time.
Are there any common personality and intellectual characteristics among Africans? How does weaning affect African child development? How have Africans’ feelings developed about city life and industrial work? The questions the author considers range from the broad-based to the specific. The challenges which lay ahead for African investigators then moving into the mainstream of the work are also discussed.
But perhaps above all the book made a convincing case for psychology becoming a relevant and finely honed discipline in Black Africa, characterised by practical application to Black African society.
Each chapter covers a defined area of modern psychology of the time and presents a comprehensive survey in a language no more technical that the subject warrants. At the time is was felt this book would be invaluable to students of Africa secondary education whose course included a psychology component and to African students beginning a degree course in psychology. It would also have provided an informative supplement to courses in medicine, development studies, political science, sociology and anthropology.