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British post-colonial relations with Kenya – not so different from the French?

Post-colonial policies of France and Britain are often described as different. Poppy Cullen qualifies this with a short case study on Kenya. Dr Poppy Cullen is a lecturer in Commonwealth history at the University of Cambridge. Her research examines post-colonial imperial history and British engagement with Africa, and especially Kenya, during the final years of decolonisation and into the post-colonial period. She explores the multiple and multifaceted economic, military, personal and diplomatic networks which were sustained well beyond formal independence.  Much of the research on France’s post-colonial relations with Africa has found that these are particularly close. These have been based on a common currency zone (the CFA Franc), military commitments, economic aid, and a strong network of personal contacts; France also intervened militarily in the continent more than other former European colonial powers. By contrast, Britain has typically been seen to disengage more completely at independence, not having formal military agreements or the same level of personal connections and very rarely intervening militarily. The emphasis these European countries placed on Africa within their post-colonial foreign policies also differed substantially, as Africa remained a key region of French focus in a way it did not for British governments. Africa played […]

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