History of Africa | we are talking about hundreds of thousands of years when human consciousness evolved in isolation from the rest of the world.
From the Rift Valley in today’s Kenya and Tanzania, the first modern human migrations spread to the whole of the African continent–an extension covering about 30 million square meters -, creating the first language groups, the four proto-languages from which the about 2000 native languages spoken today in Africa originated.
The artistic ability and the recognition and representation of the environment found in rock art throughout Africa are proof that art, like humanity, was born in Africa.
UNESCO Collection | History of Africa
“In 1964, UNESCO launched the elaboration of the General History of Africa with a view to remedy the general ignorance on Africa’s history. The challenge consisted of reconstructing Africa’s history, freeing it from racial prejudices ensuing from slave trade and colonization, and promoting an African perspective.
UNESCO therefore called upon the then utmost African and non African experts. These experts’ work represented 35 years of cooperation between more than 230 historians and other specialists, and was overseen by an International Scientific Committee which comprised two-thirds of Africans.
The result was the elaboration of the General History of Africa into eight volumes (Phase I of the project). This huge task, completed in 1999, had a great impact in Africa and, beyond, within the scientific and academic circles and is considered as a major contribution to the knowledge of Africa’s history and historiography.
Given its importance for humanity, the General History of Africa was translated into thirteen languages including English, French, Arabic, but also into three African languages. In pursuing its efforts for Africa, UNESCO has just launched the second phase of the project which is entitled “The Pedagogical Use of the General History of Africa”.