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Bibliography / Book List: Africa





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To help you get information on topics we cover we provide the following bibliographies / book lists.  We welcome you comments and suggestions for additional materials to add.


Africa: General

Children's Books

Central Africa

East Africa

Horn of Africa

North Africa

Southern Africa

West Africa

Africa General: Art, culture, music, religion, folklore and parables, history, economics, development, literature, politics and philosophy.
Central Africa: Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Dem Rep of Congo (Zaire), Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Rwanda,
East Africa: Kenya, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda
Horn of Africa: Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia
North Africa: Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia
Southern Africa: Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe
West Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Togo,


Given Africa's size and diversity, historically, there has been relatively few books published about Africa. Most of what has been printed was done with small runs, so it is not widely available. Typically, a comparison between any two libraries will show a totally different selection in their Africa book collection. Finding specific titles can be very frustrating.

Though the continent is rich in oral history, epic legends, parables and other arts of word, very little of this has made it to the printed word. When transcribed, in their traditional structure, the material does not conform to the style sought by Western publishers so is most likely to be rejected.

In recent years the formation of African publishing houses has brought a lot more into print about Africa. This has significantly increased the diversity of view and subject in print. Unfortunately most of this material is extremely hard to find outside of Africa. While traveling in Africa it is worth making an effort to visit a local book shop to see what is on the shelf from the local publisher.

Not to be over looked is the significant body of excellent fiction by Africans. Many of their works fall into one of three categories: events of traditional life affected by foreign intrusion, events of modern life challenged by traditional pressure and historical fiction. Often both the intrusion and the pressure are in the form of religion. Through these stories emerges a picture of history, culture, values, philosophy, life-style, etc.

One fact of interest is that the bicycle appears in African literature with some regularity, especial in the fiction of Nigerian writers.

The books in the bibliography have generally, but not always, been published by U.S. or UK publishers. It still may be difficult to find them, but it is worth the effort. Here are some alternative sources for books on Africa.

Africa Book Centre, or e-mail: orders (at)

Africa World Press,

African Books Collective, Oxford, 

You can check out the current selection of free books on Google by going to , choosing "advanced search", and limiting the selection to books with "full view".  Enter "Africa", and limit the search to the 19th century only, for example, and you
will find more than a million books, including many classics of the colonial period in Africa.

For free books available for Kindle


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