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African history



  • Germany Nears Accord with Namibia on Colonial Killings

    Germany has hinted at its readiness to make compensation payments to Namibia in reparation for the genocidal attacks on the Herero and other peoples in 1904, considered one of the first modern genocides. 



  • Germany Sets Out Plans to Return Benin Bronzes

    “We are facing the historical and moral responsibility to bring Germany’s colonial past to light and to come to terms with it,” Monika Grütters, Germany’s culture minister, said in a news release.



  • France Enabled 1994 Rwanda Genocide, Report Says

    A Rwandan government commission has concluded that the government of France supported the leaders of genocide in Rwanda to sustain its own influence. This goes a step beyond a recent French government report that identified French involvement in virulent ethnic politics but not in genocide.



  • Working with Histories that Haunt Us

    by Marius Kothor

    The author responds to a recent essay on the traumatic aspects of archival research. As a political exile from Togo, her identity and experience converged with subject matter she couldn't study at a remove. 



  • #FreeSenegal Youth Protesters are Checking Power — and Not for the First Time

    by Burleigh Hendrickson

    Student-led protests in 1968 in Senegal led to democratizing reform and the diminishment of French influence over the former colony. Will youth-led activists today be able to influence a government viewed as prioritizing the needs of foreign businesses over its own population? 



  • Africa's Forgotten Refugee Convention

    by Marcia C. Schenck

    The Organization of African Unity proposed its own refugee convention in 1969, reframing the issue as one of solidarity rather than crisis, and pointing the way to a more humane and positive model of thinking about the problems of displacement and statelessness.



  • Architecting a “New Normal”? Past Pandemics and the Medicine of Urban Planning

    by Jennifer Hart, Nate Plageman and Tony Yeboah

    In our research efforts – and in those of many other urban scholars examining African contexts – we’ve repeatedly seen how medical experts and modernist urban planners exploited outbreaks of disease to legitimize their emerging systems of technical expertise and advance white supremacy, global capitalism, and imperial order.



  • Is It Time to Repatriate Africa’s Looted Art?

    Museums now face a moral reckoning over artifacts stolen by people who took colonial violence and racial superiority as a given. It is time to start having honest conversations about righting those wrongs.



  • Africa's Medieval Golden Age

    by François-Xavier Fauvelle

    During the Middle Ages, while Europe fought, traded, explored and evolved, Africa was a continent in darkness, 'without history' – or so the traditional western narrative runs. In fact, as François-Xavier Fauvelle reveals, it was a shining period in which great African cultures flourished.



  • Learning From the Kariba Dam

    The history of the Kariba Dam is the story of a war over the past and the future of a river. 


  • The Untold Story of Boko Haram’s Origins

    by Jacob Zenn

    Researchers who view Boko Haram as a Nigerian unsurgency need to understand its history as part of pan-African Islamist networks; responses to extremism must work across national borders.