Open Access Anthropology in Africa - an introduction


Heard of the Sudan Open Archive? Already taken a look at the recent anthropology papers of the University of Pretoria? Many universities in Africa have set up digital libraries, repositories for papers and theses that are freely accessible for everybody.

Here is a short overview over some repositories that also feature anthropology or anthropology related papers in English.

Sudan Open Archive

The Ethnography and Linguistics section of the Sudan Open Archive (SOA) includes papers like Report of The Field Research in Lafon, Eastern Equatoria State: Assessment of the General Conditions and Livelihoods of The Pari People by Eisei Kurimoto or “Presentation on Customary Mediation in the Sudan: Past, Present and Future” by Adam Al Zain Mohammed.

There are comprehensive sections on Conflict and Peace. There are lots of scanned older publications like the 1987-study The Dhein Massacre: Slavery in the Sudan by Ushari Ahmed Mahmud and Ushari Ahmed Ali Baldo.

University of Zimbabwe


There is no anthropology department at the University of Zimbabwe, but a department of sociology. Among the six papers we find Anatomy of Alterity: Instrumental Identies Among the San in Zimbabwe by Gillian Chomutare and Elias Madzudo and Revival of Indigenous Food Security Strategies at the Village Level: The Human Factor Implications by Claude. G Mararike.

The Institute of Development Studies has published several papers, among them Plight of children in conflict and post - conflict societies: the case of Africa and Africa and Globalisation Revisited by Donald Chimanikire.


We’ll find much more anthropology papers and theses at South African universities.

Rhodes University


The anthropology section in the Rhodes eResearch Repository consists of five items. The most recent ones are the master’s theses The resurgence of tuberculosis in South Africa: an investigation into socio-economic aspects of the disease in a context of structural violence in Grahamstown, Eastern Cape by Ida Erstad and The rural-urban interface : the ambiguous nature of informal settlements, with special reference to the Daggafontein settlement in Gauteng by Sibongiseni Kumalo.

University of Johannesburg

There are 14 items in the Anthropology & Development Studies section, among them An analysis of the livelihoods of the Muyexe community located along the Kruger National Park in Limpopo Province by Mkhacani Makamu and Livelihood activities in female-headed households: Letlhakane village by Mamedupe Maggie Kgatshe.

University of Pretoria

7 anthropology papers, for example End of culture? Some directions for anthropology at the University of Pretoria by John Sharp and How equal is equal? A legal-anthropological note on the status of African women in South Africa by J.C. Bekker and C.C.Boonzaaier

University of Western Cape

6 papers by the Department of Anthropology and Sociology, among others Positive Muslims: a critical analysis of Muslim AIDS activism in relation to women living with HIV/AIDS in Cape Town by Abdul Kayum Ahmed and A critical analysis of the effects of tourism on cultural representation: a case study from Leboeng by Masete Mamadi.

University of Witwatersrand

Searching for anthropology gives five hits as for example The silence of colonial melancholy : The Fourie collection of Khoisan ethnologica by Ann Wanless

There are of course more depositories. My selection is based on the overview at http://www.opendoar.org - a website Peter Suber at Open Access News mentioned recently.

In October, Suber pointed to an article on Open Access in Africa that was discussed at Sciencebase.


The resurgence of African anthropology

“Focalizar o que é comum aos seres humanos” / Open Access Anthropology in Brasil

Book and papers online: Working towards a global community of anthropologists

How can we create a more plural anthropological community?

Why open access?

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