A new page in the General History of Africa

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United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

The International Scientific Committee of UNESCO’s General History of Africa, which met in Belo Horizonte (Brazil) from 25 to 28 March, finalized the drafting of the next three volumes of the collection, to be published in 2020.

These new volumes (X, XI and XII) enrich the collection published by UNESCO between 1964 and 1999. They reflect the events that have taken place on the continent since the end of apartheid in South Africa and the contributions of diasporas. The volumes reflect the work of 200 authors who have developed the concept of Global Africa, which describes the links between Africans on the continent and people of African descent in South, Central and North America, the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean, the Middle East and elsewhere.

“This project aims to enable young people in Africa and the diaspora better to understand their history and thus project themselves into the future and take their destiny into their own hands,” said Augustin Holl, President of the Scientific Committee, Professor at Xiamen University (China).

In 1964, UNESCO broke new ground in launching the collection which gave an African perspective, free of the racial prejudice of colonization, to the continent’s past over more than three million years.


A groundbreaking approach was adopted recognizing the work of African researchers, oral traditions and new data, notably from archaeological sources. Moreover, Africa was considered as a whole, examining relations between the different parts of the continent through the ages as well as its historical links with the rest of the world.

The General History of Africa is published in 13 languages, including English, French, Portuguese and Arabic, as well as three African languages (Fulfulde, Hausa and Kiswahili).

The meeting of the Scientific Committee was made possible thanks to the support of the Federal University of Mina Gerais and of the Dom Helde Law Faculty.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).


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