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African Economic History and Historiography  

Alois Mlambo

Online publication date:
Aug 2018
Africa’s economic history went through various stages, beginning with Stone Age hunter-gatherers, through the Iron Age and the development of agriculture, to sedentary communities with ... More

African Market Women, Market Queens, and Merchant Queens  

Gracia Clark

Online publication date:
Jul 2018
In the open marketplaces found in cities and villages throughout Africa, women traders usually predominate. This gives women considerable weight as economic actors, because these ... More

Business Records as Sources for African History  

Dmitri van den Bersselaar

Online publication date:
Mar 2018
Business records are documents routinely produced by employees and management of commercial businesses. They may be part of internal processes or produced to communicate with stakeholders ... More

Cannabis and Tobacco in Precolonial and Colonial Africa  

Chris S. Duvall

Online publication date:
Mar 2017
Cannabis and tobacco have longstanding roles in African societies. Despite botanical and pharmacological dissimilarities, it is worthwhile to consider tobacco and cannabis together because ... More

Development of Plant Food Production in the West African Savannas: Archaeobotanical Perspectives  

Katharina Neumann

Online publication date:
Jan 2018
The West African savannas are a major area of independent plant domestication, with pearl millet, African rice, fonio, several legumes, and vegetable crops originating there. For ... More

Documenting Precolonial Trade in Africa  

Shadreck Chirikure

Online publication date:
Jul 2017
Promoted by necessity, scarcity, and/or abundance, trade is one of the most essential cultural behaviors that promoted contact and exchange of ideas, commodities, and services between ... More

Farming and Herding in Eastern Africa: Archaeological and Historical Perspectives  

Freda Nkirote M'Mbogori

Online publication date:
Jul 2017
The inception of agriculture in eastern Africa is a major topic of discussion among Africanist archaeologists, although very sparse evidence exists. Questions range from whether ... More

Food Production in the Forest Zone of West Africa: Archaeological and Historical Perspectives  

Richard T. Chia and A. Catherine D'Andrea

Online publication date:
Oct 2017
Recent narratives on the origin of food production in the West African forest zone have replaced earlier diffusion-based models with viewpoints that emphasize the diversity of sources for ... More

Forest History  

Christopher Conte

Natural and human histories intersect in Africa’s forested regions. Forests of several types cover the continent’s mountains, savannas, and river basins. Most current classifications ... More

The History of Agriculture in Ethiopia  

James C. McCann

Online publication date:
Feb 2017
Ethiopia’s highlands and their lowland peripheries offer a distinctive and, in many ways, ideal setting for human habitation and the evolution of agricultural ecologies. The ranges in ... More

The Marine Fisheries of South Africa  

Lance van Sittert

Online publication date:
Feb 2017
The South African fisheries are environmentally bifurcated by the different current regimes on the west (Benguela) and east (Agulhas) coasts. Limited precolonial subsistence use of the ... More

Money and Currency in African History  

Jane I. Guyer and Karin Pallaver

Online publication date:
May 2018
African peoples have managed multiple currencies, for all the classic four functions of money, for at least a thousand years: within each society’s own circuits, in regional exchange, and ... More

Philosophical Perspectives on the History of African Socialism  

Ajume H. Wingo

Online publication date:
Feb 2018
The heyday of African socialism as the animating force behind African political developments has passed. Yet, like other political doctrines of great revolutionary movements, its name and ... More

Quantitative Methods and Economic Statistical Sources for African History  

Morten Jerven

Online publication date:
Nov 2018
The mode of enquiry in African economic history has changed quite radically in recent years. In 1987, Patrick Manning surveyed practices and databases in African economic history and ... More

The Sahel in West African History  

Barbara Cooper

The Sahel or Sahil is in a sense the “coast” of the Sahara and its cities major “ports” in trade circuits linking long-standing regional exchange in the products of different ecozones to ... More

The Soninke in Ancient West African History  

Kassim Kone

The Soninke are an ancient West African ethnicity that probably gave rise to the much larger group that is called the Mande of which the Soninke are part. The Soninke language belongs to ... More

Southern Zambezia States and Indian Ocean Trade, 1450–1900  

Malyn Newitt

States that flourished in the area immediately south of the Zambesi River from the 15th to the 19th centuries were ruled by Karanga dynasties and were the cultural heirs of Great Zimbabwe. ... More

The Swahili in the African and Indian Ocean Worlds to c. 1500  

Abdul Sheriff

Online publication date:
Dec 2017
The East African coast is an interface between the continental world of Africa and the maritime world of the Indian Ocean, and the monsoons provided a convenient wind system to link them. ... More

Technological Change in Late 19th-Century South Africa  

William Storey

Societies and technologies were deeply intertwined in the history of late 19th-century South Africa. The late 19th century saw the significant development of capitalist agriculture, ... More

The History of Migrant Labor in South Africa (1800–2014)  

Peter Delius

Online publication date:
May 2017
A pervasive system of migrant labor played a fundamental part in shaping the past and present of South Africa’s economy and society and has left indelible marks on the wider region. South ... More

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