Project Africa

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A Brief History

On October 26, 1977, Ali Maow Maalin, the last natural case of smallpox, developed a rash in Somalia. The World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention consider this date to be the anniversary of the eradication of smallpox, the most spectacular success of vaccination.  Twenty-three years later, on October 26, 2000, a wave of protests forced Robert Guéï to step down as president after the Ivorian presidential election.  Today, October 26, 2019, Somalia and the Ivory Coast remain two of the many important countries found on the African continent.  The rich history of this arguably under-studied continent is full of memorable events, including those that are not just of a biological or political nature.  Project Africa, a collaboration of two dozen History YouTube Channels, presents the complex, at times tragic, and at times encouraging stories of Africa and its many diverse peoples.

Digging Deeper

Our story begins over 50,000 years ago…

From the “World’s Oldest People” to modern historians’ misconceptions about African history, the preceding videos have covered quite a bit about Africa’s amazing history.  The story of Africa continues and we hope that your learning about this continent and its people will also continue beyond our playlist.

Thank you to all of our subscribers and viewers for watching our videos and we wish you all a fantastic fall!

Question for students (and subscribers): Which video from the playlist did you either enjoy the most or found to be the most interesting?  Please let us know in the comments section below this article.

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Your readership is much appreciated!

Historical Evidence

For more information, please see…

Achebe, Chinua.  Things Fall Apart.  Penguin Books, 1994.

Hochschild, Adam.  King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa.  Mariner Books, 1999.

The featured image in this article, an artistic rendering of Africa by Cogito, was shared with myself (Dr. Zar) and the other participants in Project Africa for use in our videos and for promoting the project.  It is therefore used here to that end.  The image’s copyright is otherwise presumed to belong to Cogito and so any other use of this image may require Cogito’s permission.


About Author

Dr. Zar

Dr. Zar graduated with a B.A. in French and history, a Master’s in History, and a Ph.D. in History. He currently teaches history in Ohio.