Category Archives: African Studies

How to Make Sense of the Garissa Attack in Kenya

To make sense of the attack by Al Shabaab on Garissa University near Kenya’s border with Somalia (official count of fatalities are 148; others say closer to 200), you may want to switch off television news. Especially since CNN is moving Nairobi to Nigeria and Tanzania to Uganda. Crucial will be how these attacks will be framed in the next few hours and especially how the Kenyan state will respond (already they’ve blamed the judiciary and in the past they’ve round up Somalis despite little evidence). Equally important is public opinion. So, like we did at the time of the attack by Al Shabaab on the Westgate Mall in Kenya’s capital Nairobi, we’ve compiled a bunch of links, including some twitter accounts, we suggest you read or follow.

Click here to read full post at Africa Is A Country.

Photo exhibition Frits Eisenloeffel | IISH

The Dutch journalist Frits Eisenloeffel (1944-2001) captured the decolonization, liberation struggle and rebuilding process of various African nations during his travels on the African continent in the 1970s. Eisenloeffel was a committed journalist. In his eyes, journalism and engagement went very well together.

Frits Eisenloeffel started his travels in the Portuguese colonies of Guinea-Bissau, Cabo Verde and Mozambique. In 1975 he followed the future president Samora Machel of Mozambique on his tour through the country to prepare for the official transfer of power. In 1978 he visited Namibia to report on the elections. On he went to Zaïre and Senegal. In the 1980’s Eisenloeffel was very much captivated by the spirit of the Eritrean Liberation Front. He was the first journalist to report on the use of nerve gas by the Ethiopian army.
From 1983 to 1985 he worked extensively in Eritrea and the border area with Sudan, partly as a reporter and partly on a fact-finding mission in assignment of Dutch aid organizations.

The vast journalistic inheritance of Frits Eisenloeffel, including 20.000 slides now rests at the IISH. Out of these twenty thousand pictures, over three thousand are high-resolution digitized and described by Ben Krewinkel. Ben Krewinkel is a photographer and he studied Modern African History.  A selection of his photographs taken on the African continent is presented here.

Read more on Frits Eisenloeffel

Read more on Frits Eisenloeffels African travels

Copyright of the photographs rests with Immeke Sixma.

Photo exhibition Frits Eisenloeffel | IISH.

Archives de l’Afrique Équatoriale Française Brazzaville

Editor’s Note: Although this page doesn’t explicitly deal with South or Southern African history, It’s still useful to look at this digitization initiative. Archivists Jean-Pierre Bat and Vincent Hiribarren have built a small website to show some of the holdings of the French Equatorial Africa Colonial Archives in Brazzaville. They chose not to digitize all of the materials for obvious reasons, but they did provide us with some scans. And most importantly, they uploaded summaries of the inventories and some of the finding aids. Perhaps this is a good compromise to the dilemmas of “digital imperialism.” 
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Ce site est dédié aux archives coloniales de l’Afrique équatoriale française (AEF) conservées à Brazzaville aux Archives nationales du Congo.

Ces archives de l’AEF (fonds dit de gestion) constituent un patrimoine partagé entre la France et les Républiques issues de l’ancienne AEF : Congo-Brazzaville, Gabon, Centrafrique, Tchad.
Elles constituent la partie complémentaire du fonds AEF conservé aux Archives nationales d’outre-mer à Aix-en-Provence (fonds dit de souveraineté).

Ce site a été créé par deux historiens spécialistes de l’Afrique, Jean-Pierre Bat (CNRS-Institut des mondes africains) et Vincent Hiribarren (King’s College London), en accord et avec le concours des Archives nationales du Congo en la personne de Raoul Ngokaba (directeur des Affaires administratives et financières à la direction générale du patrimoine et des archives) et en la personne de Brice Owabira (directeur des Archives nationales du Congo), et de l’Institut français de Brazzaville en la personne de Richard Mouthuy (conseiller de coopération à l’action culturelle et directeur de l’Institut français).

Archives de l’Afrique Équatoriale Française Brazzaville | Ce site présente les archives du gouvernement général de l’AEF conservées à Brazzaville. Ces archives constituent un patrimoine partagé entre le Congo-Brazzaville, le Gabon, la Centrafrique, le Tchad et la France..

ilissAfrica – Internet Library Sub-Saharan Africa

Editor’s Note: Reproduced below is part of the search engine “Internet Library Sub-Saharan Africa” (ilissAfrica). The project links a number of online catalogs. Some of the catalogs link to full-text, or else WorldCat. Of particular significance is the Frankfurt Colonial Archive which has photo-scans. Follow to ilissAfrica from this link.

About the project

The internet library sub-Saharan Africa (ilissAfrica) is a portal that offers an integrated access to relevant scientific conventional and digital information resources on the sub-Saharan Africa region. Information scattered on private or institutional websites, databases or library catalogues is brought together in order to facilitate research. Without ilissAfrica this information has to be collected in a laborious and time-consuming process.

ilissAfrica allows simultaneous searching (“General search”) in the following electronic resources:

  • Library Catalogue UB Frankfurt (mainly books)
  • Africa Section of the database World Affairs Online incl. the Africa library catalogue of GIGA Hamburg (books and journal articles) as from 1985
  • Library Catalogue of the African Studies Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands (books and journal articles)
  • Library Catalogue of the Nordic Africa Institute (NAI) in Uppsala/Sweden
  • Library Catalogue of the Department of Anthropology and African Studies at Mainz University with Jahn Library and AMA
  • SSG-Section of the Swets database “Online Contents” (titles of journal articles)
  • Database on internet resources with more than 5.000 websites on sub-Saharan Africa
  • Africa section of Bielefeld Academic Search Engine (BASE)
  • Colonial Picture Archive with 50.000 digitized historical pictures of Frankfurt University Library, Germany, and the Sam Cohen Library, Swakopmund, Namibia.

Furthermore an Africa Section of the Electronic Journals Library (EZB) to search E-Journals is provided.

ilissAfrica is a project of the Africa Department of the University Library Johann Christian Senckenberg in Frankfurt on the Main in cooperation with the GIGA Information Centre: Africa Library in Hamburg. Together they are in charge of the DFG Special Collections on sub-Saharan Africa.

The project is financed by the DFG.

ilissAfrica supports the association “European Librarians in African Studies” (ELIAS) as a european network aiming to promote professional exchange and cooperation among its members. The “Africa Section” of the Electronic Journals Library (EZB) was one source for the Wikipedia-article “African Studies Journals“.

Partners:

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ilissAfrica – About the project.

Connecting-Africa: Digitization and Repositories

Researchers at the African Studies Centre (Leiden, NL) have been developing since 2006 a project titled “Connecting-Africa,” which is meant to provide information about Africanists, organizations, and published (scholarly and non-scholarly) materials. In addition, the researchers have organized nearly 100 digitized repositories, hosted mostly at universities around the globe. They primarily provide links to dissertation and theses, although there are some other sources of research as well. For sheer size, I have chosen not to reprint the page verbatim here. For those interested in the repositories, follow this link to the website.