23.01.2017 - Social and Human Sciences Sector

MTN Group contributes one million US$ to boost General History of Africa

Sankofa Bird

The MTN Group, a South African leading Telecom operator working in 22 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, has contributed one million US $ to fund the activities of Volume IX of the General History of Africa (GHA), over a period of two years. UNESCO has established a partnership with the MTN Group since 2015. Their support is in line with MTN’s commitment to promote access to quality education on the African continent, particularly through the digitisation of learning and teaching.

This is the first private company to provide funding to this important Pan-African project.

“By supporting the GHA project, MTN is participating in a crucial education initiative which is aimed at re-appropriating the interpretation and writing of Africa’s history, as well as emphasising the contribution of African cultures, past and present, to the history of humanity. MTN recognises the pivotal role of education in building a better continent for future generations. And as a proudly African company, we are keen to support like-minded efforts,” says Chris Maroleng, Executive for Corporate Affairs at the MTN Group.

UNESCO welcomes the MTN Group’s support. “The commitment by MTN to sponsor the GHA initiative will help to further develop a Pan-African perspective of the history and prospects of the continent and its diasporas, based on scientific findings. We are proud to partner with a company which has demonstrated active corporate citizenship in Africa, particularly in the field of knowledge development and education,” says Ali Moussa-Iye, Chief of UNESCO’s History and Memory for Dialogue Section.

The first of its kind, the GHA project was initiated in 1964. The initiative seeks to produce an African view of the continent’s history, free from discriminatory prejudices. The GHA initiative also aims to ensure that Africa’s revised history is commonly known and accessible to the public at large.

The first phase of the project was concluded in 1999 and saw more than 230 of the world’s foremost African and non-African historians and other specialists engage over a 35-year period to produce eight volumes of content in 12 languages, highlighting the shared heritage of the people of Africa.

The second phase focuses on the compilation of a ninth volume. Scientists are also utilising this phase to expand the history curricula and educational materials for primary and secondary schools, based on the first eight volumes already compiled.

The ninth volume will take into account the latest developments in scientific research and the major events that have occurred in Africa since 1990, as well as the new challenges faced by the continent and its diaspora.

For more information, please contact:
Ali Moussa-Iye, a.moussa-iye(at)unesco.org

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