WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO STUDY THE AFRICAN HISTORY?
Africa is a vital region with some of the fastest growing economies in the world; it is a continent of thousands of languages and cultures, unparalleled Eco-diversity, and over a billion vibrant and innovative people. The relevance of African issues is apparent in our everyday lives. We use African products, exports, or mineral resources, sometimes unknowingly — and unaware of the consequences for people and the environment. Studying African history and politics gives us a deeper understanding of world history and especially of current events. For example, the profits the United States reaped from the trans-Atlantic slave trade jump started our industrial revolution and laid the economic foundations of this nation. Right now, African immigrants are establishing more communities in America, enriching American culture, which puts the study of African issues and cultures at our front doorstep. African Studies are important to students who want to understand their neighbors and themselves. You become a better-informed global citizen when you study Africa. African experiences and perspectives have been conspicuously absent or, at best, marginalized in current international research and debates on history education. This has led to general unfamiliar-ity with developments in this field on the African continent. Teaching African History in Schools: Experiences and Perspectives from Africa and Beyond aims to
contribute towards breaking this silence by providing its readers with a unique collection of original analyses that reflect some of the emerging knowledge and debates as they can be observed in selected contexts. The objective is to help put Africa on the map for the purposes of broadening existing international and global perspectives in history education and, in the process, supplementing supposedly comprehensive compendia that have commonly failed to do justice to the rich experiences of the African continent and its historically disenfranchised peoples in this field of study and practice.