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BBC World Service has produced two major series, along with two discussion programmes, all providing an in-depth look at African history:

Africa in History looks at six historical debates including the Origin of Ancient Egypt and Africa's Role in the Slave Trade (30 minutes duration each)

These programmes will be put online when production is completed.

1. Ancient Egypt and the Nile Valley
(Broadcast 14.12.01)

2. Religion in Africa
(Broadcast: 21.12.01)

3. Legacy of Great Empires
(Broadcast: 28.12.01)

4. Slavery
(Broadcast: 4.01.02)

5. Colonialism
(To be broadcast: 11.01.02)

6. Independence

(To be broadcast: 18.01.02)


The Story of Africa is a twenty four part narrative history of the continent, taking listeners from the Dawn of Man to Independence. (30 minutes duration each.)



1.  Origins of Humankind Listen Here
How humanity emerged in East Africa and spread from the continent to populate other parts of the world.



2.  Africa & the Nile Valley Listen Here
Looking at the great civilisations of Egypt and Kush and assessing the links between the Nile Valley and other parts of Africa.



3.  The Berbers Listen Here
How the original peoples of North Africa reacted to wave upon wave of colonisation at the hands of Phoenicians, Romans and Arabs.



4.  The Bantu Migrations Listen Here
One of the most extraordinary population movements in history - how the Bantu spread into East and Southern Africa transforming the culture and linguistics of the continent.



5.  Traditional Religions Listen Here
How African traditional beliefs, the veneration of ancestors and the power of taboos has affected history.



6.  The Coming of Christianity Listen Here
The rise of Christianity in Egypt and the establishment of powerful Christian states in Axum and Nubia.



7.  The Coming of Islam Listen Here
The rise of Arabic dynasties, and the spread of Islam throughout north and sub-Saharan Africa.



8.  The Empire of Ancient Ghana Listen Here
How early settlements developed into vital commercial centres growing rich on Saharan trade.



9.  The Kingdoms of Mali and Songhay Listen Here
The emergence of Timbuktu as a centre of learning and the glories of an empire built on gold.



10.  The Swahili Coast Listen Here
The development of coastal communities from small trading settlements to city-states and the emergence of the Swahili language and peoples.



11.  Central Africa & the Coming of the Portuguese Listen Here
The Kingdoms of Great Zimbabwe and Kongo, and the impact of Portuguese trading on inland Africa.



12.  The Art of Ife and Benin Listen Here
An extraordinary cultural flowering which reaches its peak in the twelfth century. And the role of artistic expression in Africa's history.



13.  Hausa City States & the Fulani Jihad Listen Here
The role of Usman dan Fodio, and the foundation of the city-states of Hausaland.



14.  Roots of African Slavery Listen Here
A look at the concept of slavery in Africa before the arrival of Europeans.



15.  The Transatlantic Slave Trade Listen Here
Eyewitness accounts of slave raids on African towns and villages and the horror of the Middle Passage.



16.  East African Slavery Listen Here
Accounts from Zanzibar and Bagamoyo on the Arab slave trade and the role of African traders such as Tippu Tip.



17.  Africa on the Eve of Colonialism Listen Here
Looking at urban and rural societies, pan-African trade and culture on the eve of European exploitation.



18.  The Mfecane Listen Here
African resistance to the Boers, the rise of the Zulu peoples and their expansion northwards at the expense of other Bantu groups.



19.  Partition & Resistance Listen Here
How the Scramble for Africa led to an arbitrary redrawing of the map of Africa by European diplomats at the Congress of Berlin.



20.  Life under Colonialism Listen Here
Eyewitness accounts from throughout the continent on what it was like to live under British, French, German and Portuguese rulers.



21.  The Challenges to Colonialism Listen Here
The beginnings of resistance and the emergence of anti-colonial religious, cultural and political movements.



22.  Independence Listen Here
Looking at how a variety of colonies achieved independence - some peacefully, some through violence.



23.  Apartheid Listen Here
The struggle against the racist white government and the eventual overthrow of apartheid culminating in the release and election as President of Nelson Mandela.



24.  The Nation State Listen Here
The emergence of independent states and the political, social and economic challenges facing those who led them.


Talkabout History

Historians from Africa and America in conversation :

1.  Talkabout History Listen Here
The importance of African History (half an hour)



2.  Talkabout History Listen Here
The future of African History (half an hour)


The programmes are presented by the Ghanaian actor, Hugh Quarshie, and produced by David Stead, Bola Olufunwa, Fiona Ledger and Penny Boreham.