The General History of Africa project, launched in 1964, represented a major intellectual and moral objective for UNESCO: at a time of decolonization and independence it was important that the long history of the people of Africa was brought to underlie their newly regained identity.
More than 350 specialists were associated with the project, which took 35 years to complete. Their work culminated in the publication, in 1999, of the outstanding, eight-volume General History of Africa.
Satisfied with this contribution to the world’s knowledge of Africa and to the unity of the African continent, Member States called on UNESCO to ensure the broad distribution of the work, particularly in view of its use in teaching.
Though two agreements signed with UNESCO in April 1999 and in January 2001, the government of Libyan Arab Jamahiriya has committed to promoting the extended dissemination of this valuable material for teaching purposes.
Supported by the establishment of the African Union and within the framework of the Second Decade of Education (2006–2015) for Africa, the agreement between UNESCO and Libyan Arab Jamahiriya was renewed and enhanced in December 2007 with a commitment to reviewing the curricula and textbooks used in African Union countries. The review will be led by a research committee which will meet as of October 2008.