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2018, Sat, Jan 20

Constantin Katsakioris: The Soviet Union and Africa: The Forgotten Chapter of Educational Aid, 1950s–1991

A student learning Russian at the Preparatory faculty. Courtesy of the Central State Archives of Supreme Bodies of Power and Government of Ukraine (TsDAVO)

A student learning Russian at the Preparatory faculty. Courtesy of the Central State Archives of Supreme Bodies of Power and Government of Ukraine (TsDAVO)

In the late 1950s, the Soviet Union decided to foster political and cultural ties with Sub-Saharan Africa by offering African students scholarships to study at Russian universities. This program was implemented without delay. In his lecture Katsakioris discusses the impact that Soviet educational aid had on Africa, arguing that it had major tangible effects, both direct and indirect, which ultimately led to the “sovietization” of Africa.

Constantin Katsakioris is postdoctoral researcher at the Bayreuth Academy of Advanced African Studies and research associate at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris. His papers have appeared in Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History, Journal of Modern European History, Cahiers du Monde russe, and Cahiers d’Études africaines. He is currently completing his first monograph under the title, Soviet Lessons: The Education of African and Arab Students in the USSR during the Cold War.