This Encyclopaedia Africana (EA) has been created because we, as a people, don’t have one. Our history has been distorted, erased and scattered to the four corners of the earth.

“If we don’t find the time to document our own history, it is likely to be forgotten or worse still, misrepresented”

Prof. Rex Nettleford
You can also help us build EA for all of our children and grandchildren by donating. Your funding enables further, more detailed research and more diverse and detailed content. Thank you – we look forward to building a virtual catalogue of our history, with you.

Our history is like a jigsaw puzzle with people holding pieces all over the world. We want to put the jigsaw puzzle back together so that we and future generations, can see the full picture. Our history has been written by others, who don’t have our best interests at heart, for too long.


It is a continent consisting of 54 countries and 2 disputed states, Western Sahara and Somaliland.

The continent covers 11.7million square miles, including the neighbouring islands. It is the second-largest continent with Asia being the largest. An estimated 3000 languages are spoken across the countries of Africa. Fossils found on the continent suggest the presence of humans there up to 150,000 years ago. Most of the borders that exist were drawn up arbitrarily by European colonisers (see also The Berlin Conference).

Africa has a rich biodiversity which is increasingly under threat from various factors, including civil war, poaching and soil degradation.

  • Sources: World Atlas
  • See also: Nations of Africa and the individual country entries. 
  • Updated: June 2020


Is an offensive term for anyone with dark skin. It is a racial classification that has no scientific or factual basis but was created as a social construct to reinforce racial hierarchy.  Commonly used up until the 1970s, you may hear the word used by people who themselves would be classed as “Negro” by White people with a mindset that endorses classifying other human beings by race.

The word itself means ‘black’ in the Spanish and Portuguese languages.

  • Last updated: June 2020