In her book, The Fruits of Freedom in British Togoland: Literacy, Politics and Nationalism, 1914-2014 (Cambridge University Press, 2015), Kate Skinner examines the history behind the failed project that sought the reunification of Togoland. At the end of the nineteenth century, the Germans colonized the small territory of Togo in West Africa. During the first world war, the British and French invaded Togo and split it between them, introducing a new border that was criticized by the African inhabitants. After the second world war, in the era of decolonization, different visions of independence were put forward. One of these was ABLODE - meaning the reunification and joint independence of British and French Togoland. But the Ablode movement was defeated, and instead British Togoland was integrated with the Gold Coast, and became an integral part of an independent Ghana. The Fruits of Freedom tells the story of ABLODE.’
Kate Skinner is a lecturer in the History of Africa and Its Diasporas at the University of Birmingham. Her forthcoming publication is Ablode Safui (the Key to Freedom): Writing the New Nation in a West African Border Town 1958-63 (written with Dr. Wilson Yayoh of the University of Cape Coast, Ghana).
Bekeh Utietiang Ukelina is an Assistant Professor of History at SUNY, Cortland. His research examines the ideologies and practices of development in Africa, south of the Sahara. He is the author of The Second Colonial Occupation: Development Planning, Agriculture, and the Legacies of British Rule in Nigeria. For more NBN interviews, follow him on Twitter @bekeh or head to bekeh.com.