Roland Oliver is Emeritus Professor of African history at the University of London and has made an outstanding contribution to the study of African history. In 1948 he was appointed to the School of Oriental and African Studies, the first post ever created in African history at any university. Professor Oliver has been Visiting Professor at the University of Brussels, Northwestern University, and Harvard University. From 1979 to 1993 he was president of the British Institute in Eastern Africa. In 1989 Professor Oliver was awarded the Distinguished Africanist Award of the American African Studies Association and in 1993 he was elected a Fellow of the British Academy.