The Nordic Africa Institute in Uppsala, Sweden, has for a number of years played an important role in documenting the Nordic involvement in the National Liberation Struggle in Southern Africa. In the present process of state building in Southern Africa, there is a search for history and its role in forming and reforming national consciousness. In this respect, it has become evident that the background materials that have been collected in the Nordic countries have an important role to play in filling the gaps that might exist in the search for a new “liberation history”.
In 2003 the Nordic Africa Institute initiated a project to identify archives in the Nordic countries, that cover documentation on anti-apartheid resistance and the liberation struggle in Southern Africa, mainly South Africa and Namibia, during 1960-1990. (Other countries are covered, see the information box in the right hand column.) Around this time, a large number of organisations in the Nordic countries e.g. government bodies, youth and church organisations, political parties and solidarity groups participated in the struggle. As a result, vast bilateral cooperation emerged and many well documented conferences and meetings were held in the Nordic countries and in Africa. Several visits to refugee camps in Africa and encounters with different leaders were also documented on videos, tapes and in pictures. Another result was this website that works as an reference source. It was launched on 24 April 2007. (More about the website.)
Organisations in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden have localized, catalogued and organized archives on the liberation struggle. The archival lists are available in a database, found on this website, that has been created to make the materials known and easily accessible for researchers, students and others who are interested in this part of the world history.
The project was concluded in November 2009 with a workshop held in Pretoria, South Africa.