What is the Encyclopaedia Africana Dictionary of African Biography?
The Encyclopaedia Africana Dictionary of African Biography addresses the unfavourable image of Africa and its past often displayed to the outside world. It is written by contributors – African, Afrikaner, and Africanist scholars – from many ethnic groups to provide an authentic and encyclopaedic view of Africa. The Encyclopaedia is aimed at viewing Africa’s history through the biographies of those who played key roles in the making of that history. It further seeks to correct the erroneous but widely held notion that African history is merely an aspect of European history in which Africans were only passive onlookers. Written under the direction of the Secretariat of the Encyclopaedia Africana Project in Accra, Ghana, the Encyclopaedia is a tangible outcome of a dream of an African encyclopaedia that was conceived in 1909 by the late Dr. W.E.B Du Bois who happened to be the inaugural Director of the Project.
Volume 1: Ethiopia and Ghana (Sample Biographies)
This is the first volume of a series of the Encyclopaedia Africana Dictionary of African Biography. This volume covers two countries in different subregions of the African continent, Ethiopia and Ghana, which share different historical backgrounds. It gives an overview of the early glimpses of the architecture and history of both countries, including the various kingdoms and prominent ethnic groups that existed then, as well as the coming of the Europeans and Christianity. It also provides a unique collation of the life stories of those now-deceased men and women who played important roles that set in motion the formation of the two countries.
Volume 2: Sierra Leone & Zaire (Democratic Republic of Congo)
The second volume of the Encyclopaedia Africana Dictionary of African Biography covers two countries in different subregions of the African continent, Sierra Leone and Zaire (present-day Democratic Republic of Congo). It gives an overview of the early glimpses of the architecture and history of both countries including migration and settlement of their peoples as well as civilization. It also provides a unique collation of the life stories of those now-deceased men and women who played important roles that resulted in the coming to being of the two countries.
Volume 3: South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho & Swaziland (Eswatini)
The third volume of the Encyclopaedia Africana Dictionary of African Biography is a key work in the series of the Encyclopaedia. It is a unique collation of the life stories of some deceased men and women who played critical roles in setting in motion the fundamental changes underway in Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland (modern-day Eswatini), and South Africa. The volume thus reflects the significance of the countries and individuals, in relation to the history of the southernmost region of Africa and the continent at large. While the introductory articles view these countries in historical perspective, the biographies themselves do not necessarily lend themselves to being categorised in terms of current national boundaries, since such boundaries were non-existence in the past. The subjects in this volume are therefore presented in alphabetical order in a single southern African category.