Deferring Uhuru: Decolonization and the Coming of the Global Wildlife Preservation Movement
This chapter explores the return of wildlife preservationists, now international rather than imperial, during the 1950s and 1960s, as they combined narratives of racial paranoia with notions of global trusteeship over African wildlife. The postwar proliferation of global institutions—conservation-minded ones among them—created a new constituency for wildlife amidst decolonization. This timing coincided with a violent anti-colonial struggle in Kenya, used by preservationists to support their arguments about African avarice, and by wildlife managers to hone militaristic anti-poaching methods. The alliance of local preservationists and international advocates sought to internationalize Africa’s wildlife. The College of African Wildlife Management (CAWM) in Tanzania, created to prolong preservationists’ influence after decolonization, was simultaneously embraced by African nationalists as a mechanism for driving the Africanization of their new nations.