The Afro-Vision Experience


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INTRODUCTION


The magnitude of Africa, in size, cultural diversity and development, becomes evident when one begins to examine the resources dealing with this great continent. Nearly every country in the world has links to Africa; Africa supplies many raw materials and  products to the world; and the African people–both contemporary native Africans and Diaspora groups–are active all over the globe.www.afro-vision.com

Materials on Africa exist in every major language, on every continent. Africa appears in Norwegian, Portuguese, Japanese, Spanish, Chinese, Iranian, and Russian literature and networks. Moreover, materials are available in over 800 specific African languages and dialects, and, entire libraries, museums, and research centers are devoted to the study and promotion in African languages such as Yoruba, Hausa, Swahili, Zulu, Amharic, and Wolof. Arabic, the language of Islam, is more widely spoken in Africa than anywhere else in the world.

The image of Africa as completely out of touch with the modern world also quickly fades as we examine resources on Africa. The computer has touched and in many ways changed our relations and connections with Africa. Every country in Africa has invested in communications and computer technology. Many have invested in multi-million dollar systems that make new levels of communication possible. National, regional, and continental organizations, institutions, and individuals have created web sites, connected networks and reached out to the wider world. A good example of how individuals have sought to change the image of Africa via the Internet is a Youtube video called “The Africa They Don’t Show”. International organizations in economics, health, human rights, education, the environment, and the arts are all deeply committed to Africa.

All of these elements (business, literature, electronic communications, internet ties, etc.) constitute resources–means through which we can deepen our knowledge about, understanding of,  and connection with Africa. They represent ways in which teaching and curriculum development can be strengthened, businesses can expand, individuals can get information on Black history and culture and young minds can be opened to great possibilities.

It is neither my intention, nor is it possible, to provide a comprehensive guide to all such resources in a single website. Rather, I hope to highlight some of the best and most useful sources that are both reliable and easily accessible. So ...... if you have access to a library, a computer network, transportation to local resources, or even just a smartphone, this guide can help you have greater success in finding information and connection to Africa than ever before.


RESOURCES ABOUT RESOURCES


Africa is so vast that numerous combinations of countries and even subcontinents could easily fit inside of its 11.6 million square mile land mass. Such a large place has information about it  scattered in diverse places. So let’s begin with references to sources that compile their own lists--- in other words, other resource guides. 

There are a number of  publications whose task is to list resources on Africa.  Most of them wisely limit themselves to subject-specific areas, geographic regions, and one or two languages. Another common division of Africa is along the Sahara Desert. The bulk of Africa’s landmass is considered Africa South of the Sahara (or Black Africa) while the remainder is usually called North Africa and the Middle East (including the Arabian Peninsula). While this categorization eliminates some linguistic challenges (see below for a discussion of North Africa Resources) it does not provide a complete picture of the continent.

Many resource guides are larger and more detailed  than this site. It is highly recommended that you use some of these resource guides as well to pursue your interests in various African subjects. Some recent major publications include:


Africa:Africa World Press Guide to Educational Resources From and About Africa  (NJ, 1997) 190pp. This guide lists 34 categories of resources ranging from democracy to visual arts;  the voice of women to Africa’s debt burden; and from cinema to mining to little-known political struggles. It also contains useful lists of organizations, curriculum resources, and references. Contact World views http://worldviews.igc.org/wvafr.html  


The African Studies Companion: A Resource Guide and Drectory by Hans M. Zell and Cecile Lomer (UK, 1997) 276pp. This academically directed survey incorporates loads of information on directories, bibliographies, handbooks, dissertations, journals and magazines, major libraries and documentation centers, publishers, dealers, organizations and foundations, donor agencies, and network organizations. It also references some resources in both English and French.


Africa: A Guide to Reference Material by John McIlwaine (UK,1993) 507 pp. A more detailed academic resource guide. Lists over 1800 references arranged by country and heavily indexed.


Additional Resource Guides


        Hundreds of other titles on Africa in general are published and circulated. Some good places to find these and other sources are college or University libraries, large public libraries, or on the internet. We are not listing every source here in order to avoid duplication. Many of the other resource guides–regional or county specific–can be found in the books cited above.


North Africa

North African Resources

        The countries of North Africa–Mauritania, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Sudan, Egypt and Somalia (which is included on some lists and not others)–are usually considered part of the Middle East/ Muslim World as well as Africa. The official language of all of these nations is Arabic and the vast majority of their people are Muslim. Resources about these countries are typically found in two languages, Arabic and French. Efforts have been made to produce more materials in English and Spanish. In most of the resource listings that cover the entire continent, information on North Africa can be obtained by searching for individual countries. Some published general resources include:


North Africa: Development and Reform in a Changing Global Economy by Dirk Vandewwalle (St. Martin’s Press, 1996)


        Leadership and national development in North Africa: a comparative study  by Hermassi, Elbaki(University of California               Press1972)


        Directory of libraries and special collections on Asia and North Africa. Compiled by Robert Collison  (Archon Books, 1970)]LC Call No.:   Z3001.C583

Modern literary and intellectual history of North Africa by Sami A. Hanna. 1972-


*   *   *   *   *   *   * Internet Highlights  *     *     *     *     *     *     *


Africa South of the Sahara Comprehensive Stanford University site is easily one of the best. It has been thoroughly checked out. A tremendous range of resources in 41 subject areas from African Studies to sports, student organizations, travel, weather, and women.

                            http://www-sul.stanford.edu/depts/ssrg/africa/guide.html

ARO Wiki, an online database of African Regional Organizations

                                                    http://aros.trustafrica.org/index.php/Main_Page

The University of Pennsylvania African Studies WWW page  Offers links to its program, annotated links, African Studies Association, voluminous Black African Internet Resources, K-12 Africa, Dissertation, books on Africa.

                            http://www.africa.upenn.edu/AS.html


Karen Fung’s Finding People: Africa. Find Africanists by means of directories and university lists. Includes links to on-line resources for African regions.

                                    http://www-sul.stanford.edu/depts/ssrg/africa/findpeo.html


Middle East Studies Association gopher server . MESA collections, resource

                                            http://www.mesa.arizona.edu/


The African Centre for Cities is an interdisciplinary research and teaching programme that seeks “to facilitate critical urban research and policy discourses for the promotion of vibrant, democratic and sustainable urban development in the global South from an African perspective.”                                 http://africancentreforcities.net/


African History

Educational Resources

Cultural Resources Film, Literature, Music

Travel and Tourism

Environment

Women’s Issues

International Relations

Sports

African Business