Hello, The British Council is celebrating 75 years of creating opportunities and making an impact in Nigeria.
It’s such a huge privilege to witness this now. Anniversaries are the opportunities to recollect our year gone memories and to cherish them again. We also get an opportunity to look to the future and chart a course for the next 75 years and what we hope our impact will be in Nigeria.
The British Council was formed in 1934 in the UK as ‘The British Committee for Relations with Other Countries’ by Sir Reginald Leeper with the support of the Foreign Office. Its role was to improve the understanding of Britain across the world. This included arranging for lecturers and books to be sent overseas, supporting British institutes, societies and English schools in other countries, arranging visits for individuals to the UK, and organizing music performances and art exhibitions, much as we do today. In 1935, the name changed to the British Council for Relations with Other Countries, and in 1936 was abbreviated to the British Council. In 1940 the British Council was incorporated by Royal Charter.
The first British Council representative Norman Lloyd-Williams arrived in Lagos in 1943. However, the British Council officially launched on 09 June 1944 when the first library known as British Council House opened in Marina in the old Exhibition hall. Since then, the British Council has changed the lives of millions of Nigerians through our different programmes.
The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities and we currently operate in over 100 countries globally. At the British Council, we have realized that people deserve opportunities that can provide better livelihoods and valuable connection facilitate these learnings. In Nigeria, we do this through our work in education providing training and capacity building initiatives to people in the arts, enterprise, society and education sectors. We also provide access to global opportunities through our exams work where we provide Nigerians with globally recognized professional and university qualifications right here in Nigeria. Every year, we reach out to thousands of students, educators, policymakers, academics, researchers, creatives and entrepreneurs in Nigeria with our work across these sectors.
By celebrating this 75th anniversary, we are celebrating the success of our employees, our partners, our beneficiaries and all who have been a part of this journey thus far. Thanks to you, we are 75. Don’t forget to share your stories of how we have been a part of your life in the 75 years we have been in Nigeria on this site. We look forward to hearing and reading from you. We also look forward to hosting you at the different activities we have put together to celebrate the anniversary.
Happy anniversary British Council Nigeria.
Nigeria Country Director/West Africa Cluster Lead
The British Council in Nigeria