|EAP Secretariat's Archive
1997 August 14
Statement of Status of the
Encyclopaedia Africana Project
Acting Director of the Secretariat
Encyclopaedia Africana Project
Accra, Ghana, West Africa
August 14, 1997
At the inception of the
EAP, an international Standing
Committee consisting of a member each of participating African Countries, was constituted.
The Committee's basic function was to periodically set the agenda of the Secretariat and
to identify authors.
The international socio-economic support received by the
EAP in its initial years mainly stemmed from the involvement, enthusiasm and dynamism of
Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana's first President and Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois, who also became the
first Director of the Project.
Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois died in 1963 and barely three years
later Dr. Nkrumah's presidency was also terminated.
By 1967, due mainly to the absence of
the two pillars of the EA Project, and other political and economic changes in Africa, the
financial base of the Secretariat could not allow the Project to efficiently pursue its
The Standing Committee
therefore, directed the Secretariat to concentrate on publishing a 20-volume
Encyclopaedia Africana: Dictionary of African Biography®™
. Each volume was to cover a country or a group of countries, depending
on the number of biographical articles.
Specific Objectives of the
Current Phase of the EAP
- To strengthen the infrastructural facilities and human
resource capacities of the EA Project's Secretariat.
- To generate and review researched biographical articles for
the completion of the next two volumes of the Dictionary of African Biography. Countries
to be covered - Nigeria and Egypt.
- To have accumulated articles on Libya, presently in Arabic,
translated into English and organised for publication.
- To facilitate intellectual interaction and co-operation
among literary scholars on African biographies and history.
- To initiate the translation of volumes 1, 2 & 3 of the
Encyclopaedia Africana®™ into French and
Present Status of
With virtually no consistent cash-flow for many years,
except from the Ghana Government, to maintain the Secretariat, work at the Secretariat has
been slowed down considerably. However, with the dynamic leadership of the Chairman of the
EAP Editorial Board, Dr. S. O. Biobaku of Nigeria, three volumes of the Encyclopaedia Africana: Dictionary of African Biography®™
have been published heretofore:
- Volume I:
Ethiopia and Ghana
- Volume II:
Sierra Leone & Zaire
- Volume III:
South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho &
Presently, articles covering biographies from Nigeria and
Egypt are being compiled and organised in preparation for reviews and publication. In
addition articles from Libya, originally written in Arabic are being organised for
translation into English.
Dr. William Edward
Burghardt Du Bois
|"While there should be included among its writers the best students of Africa
in the world. I want the proposed Encyclopedia to be written mainly from the African
point of view by people who know and understand the history and culture of
further, "All Africa should be invited and urged to participate and to share in
authority and support."
W.E.B. Du Bois, Founding Director of the Secretariat of the Encyclopaedia Africana Project
for Financial Support
To accomplish our immediate goals, we need your
help! Your help to us could come in the form of office and telecommunications
equipment; vehicles of transportation; financial
contributions to help pay authors for
their articles, etc.
Our moral authority to ask for your help is based on the
premise that the authentic history of Africa has barely been documented.
However, it is our opinion that the history of any group of
people remains incomplete without that of all other peoples. This is because no group of
people have made their history alone.
We also recognise that the future development of any people
is more often than not associated with truth of their past!
So, please help us to document the "true"
history of Africa and you will have helped in the eventual development of the African
continent, which is absolutely essential to the correct telling of world history.
Your help is appreciated in advance.