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Book Chapter

Liberation, Empowerment and Decolonisation through Adult Education in Africa

  • Michael Omolewa
  • Ruphina U. Nwachukwu
  • Anne Ruhweza Katahoire

Adult Education is an interdisciplinary field that often includes a focus on social justice issues and thus prompts a liberation, empowerment, and decolonisation approach to adult education. The purpose of this chapter is to report findings from informed by the papers of Lalage Bown held by the Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford, and the British Library. The chapter explores the concepts and nexuses of liberation empowerment and decolonisation through Adult Education in Africa. It addresses liberation and empowerment in the life of Lalage Bown in Africa, and her life and family background. It also explores her perceptions on decolonisation and the key reasons why she fought for the oppressed through Adult Education during her stay in Africa. The paper examines Lalage Bown’s work experiences in different universities in Africa – including Nigeria – Britain, and her new ideas, including her approach to colonisation, Colonial Development and Welfare Fund. Finally, it discusses Lalage Bown’s Legacy.

  • Keywords:
  • Colonialism,
  • Decolonisation,
  • Empowerment,
  • Lalage Bown,
  • Liberation,
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Michael Omolewa

University of Ibadan, Nigeria - ORCID: 0000-0001-8976-4581

Ruphina U. Nwachukwu

University of Nigeria, Nigeria - ORCID: 0000-0001-6618-1252

Anne Ruhweza Katahoire

Makerere University, Uganda - ORCID: 0000-0003-3520-070X

  1. Atim, David K., Ndoleriire Nsamba, Y., and Anthony Okech. 2004. Fifty Years of Makerere University Based Adult Education in Uganda. Leicester-Cardiff: Institute of Adult and Continuing Education.
  2. Bown, Lalage. 1969. “The Education in African Societies.” In Education in Africa: Research and Action, edited by Richard Jolly. Nairobi: East African Publishing House.
  3. Bown, Lalage J., and Joseph T. Okedara. 1981. An Introduction to the Study of Adult Education: A Multi-Disciplinary and Cross-Cultural Approach for Developing Countries, Ibadan: University Press Ltd.
  4. Bodleian Library (MSS.Afr.s.1877, Box 1, File 2). People’s Educational Association of Ghana, located at the Institute of Adult Education, Legon: University of Ghana.
  5. Bodleian Library (MSS.Afr.s.1877, Box 2, File 2). University of Oxford Delegacy for Extra-Mural Studies, Adult Education in the Gold Coast, A Report for the Year 1948-1949 by the Resident Tutor.
  6. Bodleian Library (MSS.Afr.s.1877, Box 3). Makerere College, Department of Extra-mural Studies.
  7. Bodleian Library (MSS.Afr.s.1877, Box 6, File 1). University College, Nigeria Department of Extra-Mural Studies.
  8. Omole, Morakinyo A.L. 2022. 50 Years of Adult Education at Ibadan. Ibadan: Ibadan University Press.
  9. Omolewa, Michael. 1975a. “Oxford University and the Planting of Adult Education in Nigeria, 1945-50.” Journal of Educational Administration and History 7 (1): 23-39.
  10. Omolewa, Michael. 1975b. “A Decade of University Adult Education in Nigeria, 1945-55: An Examination of British Influence.” British Journal of Educational Studies 23 (2): 153-67.
  11. Titmus, Colin, and Tom Steele. 1995. Adult Education for Independence: The Introduction of University Extra- Mural Work into British Tropical Africa. Leeds: University of Leeds.
  12. Yousif, A.A. 1967. University Extra Mural Studies in Ghana and Nigeria, 1946-1964. M.Ed Thesis. Leicester: Leicester University.
  • Publication Year: 2023
  • Pages: 95-106
  • Content License: CC BY 4.0
  • © 2023 Author(s)

  • Publication Year: 2023
  • Content License: CC BY 4.0
  • © 2023 Author(s)

Chapter Information

Chapter Title

Liberation, Empowerment and Decolonisation through Adult Education in Africa


Michael Omolewa, Ruphina U. Nwachukwu, Anne Ruhweza Katahoire





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© 2023 Author(s)

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CC BY 4.0

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CC0 1.0

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Book Title

Adult Education and Social Justice: International Perspectives


Maria Slowey, Heribert Hinzen, Michael Omolewa, Michael Osborne

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© 2023 Author(s)

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CC BY 4.0

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CC0 1.0

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Firenze University Press



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Studies on Adult Learning and Education

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