Top 4 Contributions of the West African Students Union to Nationalism in West Africa

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The reference point question for this post is this: What contribution did the West African Students Union (WASU) make to nationalism in British West Africa?

I said reference point question because The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) could decide to vary the wording of this same question in many other different ways.

Also, all or part of the points in this tutorial on the formation and role of the West African Students Union can be used to answer similar questions.

Just take a look at these asĀ  well:

  • Assess the role of the West African Students Union (WASU) in the nationalist struggle in British West Africa.
  • Outline the achievements of the West African Students Union.
  • What impact did the West African Students Union make on nationalism in British West Africa?
  • Why was the West African Students Union (WASU) formed?


Ladipo Solanke, a Nigerian law student in Britain was the brain behind the formation of WASU in Britain in 1925. He became secretary and Ademola Thomas became the organizer.

The WASU initially aimed at four core objectives namely,

  • providing hostel facilities for West African students in the UK,
  • staging a forum for the study of African history and culture,
  • creating a United States of West Africa and
  • fighting racial discrimination against blacks.

The contribution of WASU to nationalism in British West Africa

1. The West African Students Union organized lectures in the UK and sensitized the British public as well as the world on the plight of the colonized people. This won support and sympathy for the nationalists in their fight against colonial rule.

2. The West African Students Union served as a training ground for future national leaders. People who held key positions in the union became leaders of the independence struggle and eventual leaders of their countries

Notable among these were Kwame Nkrumah and J. B. Danquah (Ghana), Obafemi Awolowo and Nnamdi Azikiwe (Nigeria).

3. WASU established branches in major towns in British West Africa. Its teachings and publications in its monthly magazine, called WASU, on the evils of colonialism and racial discrimination were carried to Africans on the continent. This helped raise the political awareness of the colonials.

4. When the Atlantic Charter was proclaimed in 1941 upholding the rights of all peoples to govern themselves, the West African Students Union wrote to the secretary of state for the colonies asking for internal self-government to be granted to the colonies.

Thank you.

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Ralph spends his day working as an online educator, a freelance website designer, web content manager and WordPress trainer. Ralph is the CEO of RN Digital Media Ent. He publishes on and BloggingtotheMax.

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