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About Africae

Africae publishes academic works in the human and social sciences on Africa that shed light on political, economic and social dynamics in the past and present.

Africae is the publisher’s brand of the open access publications of the French Institute for Research in Africa (IFRA) in Nairobi, Kenya, in association with the French Institute of South Africa–Research Department (IFAS-Research) in Johannesburg, South Africa, and the French Sudan Antiquities Service (SFDAS) in Khartoum, Sudan. All three institutes are components of the USR 3336 Africa South of the Sahara, which is also the directorate of IFRA-Nairobi.


IFRA-Nairobi has the status of a joint unit of the French Research Institutes Abroad (UMIFRE) under the supervision of the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs (MEAE) and the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS). It conducts multidisciplinary research in the social sciences and humanities on the contemporary societies of East Africa, with a mandate for the following countries: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, as well as the eastern part of Democratic Republic of Congo. IFRA’s mission is to promote social science research, to train French, East African and European students in research, and to strengthen institutional relations between French and East African universities and research centres.

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IFAS-Research is also a UMIFRE under the same institutional co-supervision. The institute has a regional research mandate on Southern Africa. It supports each year about 80 researchers from the most prestigious French and European centres about Southern Africa. Its aims to promote the creation of mixed research teams through calls for proposals within the framework of annual programmes. Since its creation, the institute has focused on the reconstruction of space and identities in post-apartheid South Africa, and on the observation of indicators of social and political change by favouring an interdisciplinary approach. Recently, new programmes have been launched in the fields of archaeology and the history of Southern Africa.

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SFDAS is an UMIFRE based in Sudan. It is responsible for cooperating with the Sudanese Directorate of Antiquities in its field activities (excavations and surveys). Its central themes are Nubian studies, Meroitic archaeology, museology, preventive and rescue archaeology, and archaeological prospecting.

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Review Process

Africae is steered by an Editorial Board and an Advisory Board. The Editorial Board, which brings together the directors of IFRA-Nairobi, SFDAS and IFAS-Research (editors-in-chief) as well as the managing editor, has a leading role in initiating publication projects, a decision-making role and a role in liaising with book projects’ authors. It is assisted in decision-making by an Advisory Board composed of 6 professors or researchers (2 per UMIFRE), specialists in the geographical area and experienced. The editorial and scientific organisation adopted here is the result of a scientific evaluation and publishing model adopted by the three partner-UMIFREs.

Africae Studies

Africae’s edited volumes (“Africae Studies” series) result in most cases from a research project or a conference. They are edited by one, two or more academic editors who are part of the UMIFRE network, and may be French, African or international professors or researchers. The chapters submitted to the volume’s editors go through a double peer-review process: an internal peer-review (by the editors themselves) and an external peer-review (by experts—always different, based upon their competences with regard to the theme addressed—selected by the Editorial Board or by the Advisory Board. After receiving the peer-review report, the authors revise their text by taking into consideration the comments made to them. The volume’s editors are responsible for the final selection of texts, the general introduction (revised and edited by the Editorial Board if required) and the overall consistency of the book.

Africae Monographs

The monographs (“Africae Monographs” series) may be written by French, African or international, junior or senior lecturers or researchers. The peer-review process for these books is conducted in two phases. The first step is taken in charge by the Editorial Board and the Advisory Board. They assess the quality of the manuscript based upon several elements: the relevance of the theme, the target readership, recommendations by researchers working on related themes, the quality of writing and the text structure, the length of the manuscript, and the appropriate use of scientific references as required in academic publications. If these criteria are not properly met, the manuscript may be refused, or the author may be asked to rework it. If all the criteria are met, the manuscript goes through an external peer-review process made by an expert from the UMIFRE network or even an external expert, based on their competence to assess the suitability of the book with regards to scientific criteria—both empirical and theoretical. The expert’s peer-review report is used by Africae’s Editorial Board and Advisory Board to decide whether or not to publish the book.

Publishing and co-publishing policy

The final edition of the books, after acceptance (correction, upgrading to bibliographic and ortho-typographic standards), and their production will be integrated within the USR “Africa south of the Sahara.”

The works are published under Creative Commons licences, allowing the best dissemination of research works.

Africae promotes co-publishing agreements with European and African publishers for the dissemination of the printed versions, with a specific view to ensuring that the book is available at affordable prices for African audiences. The agreements take into account the primacy of open access.

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