Building peace in the minds of men and women

Africa and its history; a continent viewed from within

In this issue the Editors of the Unesco Courier have set out to give readers a preview, in the form of specially chosen excerpts, of a major work of international collaboration in scholarship, the Unesco-sponsored General History of Africa (see page 5).

Although it incorporates some material from a later volume, this selection is based largely on texts from vol. I, entitled "Methodology and African Prehistory", and vol. II, "Ancient Civilizations of Africa", the French and English editions of which are now in the final stages of preparation.

For reasons of space alone our anthology can only reflect a handful of the many themes evoked in the early parts of the eight-volume General History. As work proceeds in this long-term enterprise, the Unesco Courier will be furnished with opportunities to focus on other important aspects of early African history. In particular, it has been necessary to postpone until a future issue publication of a study on the extraordinary expansion of Islam in Africa, since volume III ("Africa from the Seventh to the Eleventh Century"), of which this will be a major theme, is still in course of preparation. The General History ofAfrica will be published first in English, French and Arabic; later, translated versions are scheduled to appear in such African languages as Kiswahili, Hawsa, Fulani, Yoruba and Lingala.

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August-Septembre 1979