EAP Secretariat's Archive
2000 June 03
Encyclopedia Africana Out At Last - Rejoinder
by Mrs. Grace Bansa
Acting Director of the Secretariat
Encyclopaedia Africana Project
Accra, Ghana, West Africa
June 3, 2000
To: Mr. George Sydney Burgri, The Daily
Hon. Minister for Education,
Hon. Minister for Foreign Affairs,
Hon. Deputy Minister for Education,
National Council for Tertiary Education,
In reference to the above-mentioned article,
"Encyclopedia Africana Out At Last," by George Sydney Abugri, which
appeared in the Saturday, May 20, 2000 edition of your paper, the Daily
The Secretariat of the
Encyclopaedia Africana Project wishes to correct the impression
created by the article that the Encyclopaedia Africana is now being
The Secretariat of the Encyclopaedia Africana Project, which was established in 1962, in
Accra, by Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois and Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, to publish
the Encyclopaedia Africana: Dictionary of African Biography®™ , has:
functioned under the Ministry of Education - Ghana
been relocated to the USA
has the Secretariat mandated anybody to publish the Encyclopaedia Africana®™
on its behalf.
From what we could
gather from the content of the said article, the author
might be referring to Microsoft Encarta Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience,
edited by Kwame Anthony Appiah, Henry Louis, Jr. Gates.
This encyclopedia was published by people
who have nothing to do with the Encyclopaedia Africana®™ Secretariat, established by
Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois, of which he was the first Director. The
Secretariat of the Encyclopaedia Africana®™
has no objection to publications on Africa or Africans by other
We, however, object to any person or
persons publishing anything and labeling it as the "Encyclopaedia Africana®™".
Encyclopedia Africana is a registered name of the
Encyclopaedia Africana Project [EAP].
According to the author of the said
article the publication of the encyclopedia he is referring to, represents
the realisation of Dr. Du Bois’ Dream. We beg to differ here. The
realisation of Dr. Du Bois’ Dream is a legacy bestowed on this
Secretariat, in Ghana, West Africa, and on the whole of Africa, for that
matter, by Dr. Du Bois himself. We intend holding on to that legacy and
seeing it through and we are doing just that!
The first volume of the Encyclopaedia Africana: Dictionary of African Biography®™ was published as far back
as 1977. We have, so far, published
three (3) biographical volumes; and we intend publishing the remaining
volumes on everything concerning Africa and its people despite the many
socio-political and economic problems facing the continent.
Thus, the two major impressions, created by
the Daily Graphic news article were both INCORRECT:
- That the Encyclopaedia Africana: Dictionary of African Biography®™ is now
being published and
- That the Microsoft Encarta Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience
, edited by Kwame Anthony Appiah, Henry Louis, Jr.
Gates., is the
realisation of Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois’ Dream of an encyclopaedia of
African knowledge about African people, for African people and by
The Secretariat has, in the
past few years, circulated considerable material to raise public awareness
of its activities. We are, however, still prepared to provide more
information on Dr. Du Bois’ Dream of the Encyclopaedia Africana: Dictionary of African Biography®™ and its realisation,
to whomever so desires.
We are located at the
campus of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, in the
Airport Residential area, Accra.