In 1964, UNESCO launched the elaboration of the General History of Africa (GHA) with a view to remedy the general ignorance on Africa’s history. The challenge consisted of reconstructing Africa’s history, freeing it from racial prejudices ensuing from slave trade and colonization, and promoting an African perspective. UNESCO therefore called upon the then utmost African and non African experts. These experts’ work represented 35 years of cooperation between more than 230 historians and other specialists, and was overseen by an International Scientific Committee which comprised two-thirds of Africans.
The General History of Africa (GHA) is a pioneering corpus, unparalleled in its ambition to cover the history of the entire African continent, since the appearance of human beings to contemporary challenges faced by Africans and their Diasporas in the world. It is a history that no longer leaves the pre-colonial period in the shadows and that deeply integrates the destiny of Africa into that of humanity by highlighting its relations with the other continents and the contribution of African cultures to the general progress of humanity.
The complete collection is published in eight volumes. All volumes are richly illustrated with maps, charts, figures and diagrams and a selection of black and white photographs. The texts, for the most part, are fully annotated and there is an extensive bibliography and index.