< Back
Larger context for LACK in Corpus USbrown_UKbncw/US_brown.txt


Indeed, the Belgians discouraged higher education, fearing the creation of a native intellectual elite which might cause unrest.
When the Congo received its independence in 1960 there were, among its 13.5 million people, exactly 14 university graduates.

Why did the Belgians grant independence to a colony so manifestly unprepared to accept it?
In one large oversimplification, it might be said that the Belgians felt, far too late, the gale of nationalism sweeping Africa.
They lacked time to prepare the Congo, as the British and French had prepared their colonies.
The Congolese were clamoring for their independence, even though most were unsure what it meant; and in Brussels, street crowds shouted, "Pas une goutte de sang!"
(Not one drop of blood!).
The Belgians would not fight for the privilege of being the detested pedagogue; rather than teach where teaching was not wanted, they would wash their hands of the mess.
It is hard to blame them for this.
Yet there were other motivations and actions which the Belgians took after independence for which history may not find them guiltless.
As the time for independence approached there were in the Congo no fewer than 120 political parties, or approximately eight for each university graduate.
There were four principal ones.
First, there were those Congolese (among them Joseph Kasavubu) who favored splitting the country into small independent states, Balkanizing it.