Nearly a decade ago I wrote: Nowadays it has become almost a platitude to say that the Channel divides West Africa. How true is it today that when one crosses from Nigeria into Dahomey or Niger, or from Gambia to Senegal, the main impression one has is that of crossing the twenty miles of water that separate England from France'?l 11

The impressions formed from seemingly irrelevant details are still there: the long sticks of bread offered the traveller instead of the oblong blocks of wrapped bread: the change of road from one side to the other, though this is a difference that will soon be eliminated; the uniform and equipment of the ordinary policeman, especially the revolver in the gendarme's holster; the cut of the young dandy's clothes; the type of cloth used by the women; and lastly, but still probably most important, the ubiquitous presence of white Frenchmen in jobs that are a monopoly of Africans in the English-speaking territories. However irrelevant these details may seem, they are sufficiently marked for the Senegalese driver in Lagos to have 'French-boy' shouted after him, and conversely the Senegalese student will talk of the Nigerian student in Dakar as 'I'Anglais'. These differences are still not superficial, even ten years after independence. Anyone who has attended international Congresses in which both French-and English-speaking Africans have participated, knows the tendency of the two groups to separate, sometimes into hostile groups as was the case at the Conference on the Press held in Dakar in 1960. Indeed the division in such conferences is more frequently on linguistic than racial lines. I remember one Conference in which tension *Adapted. July 1971. from the article of the same title published in Ctriii.111/iom. 3. 1965. for a lecture at Makerere University. and reprinted hy permission of l."lnstitut International des CivilisatiohsDifferentes.