Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
The Institute of African Knowledge (IAK) last week presented to President Mnangagwa the first draft of The Africa Factbook, a publication which seeks to change global perceptions about the continent.
IAK is a Zimbabwe-based publishing house focusing on Pan-African content.
The draft was presented to the President at his Munhumutapa Offices by IAK board chairperson Ambassador Simbi Mubako, who was accompanied by board members Mr Baffour Ankomah and Mr Pritchard Zhou and chief executive officer Mr Kwame Tapiwa Muzawazi.
The inaugural edition would be published under the theme, “Busting the myths” meant to correct wrong information that over the last 500 years has negatively impacted on Africa’s image.
The Africa Factbook will contain useful facts about Africa and African peoples for the purpose of information dissemination, education, entertainment, reference, statistics and documentation.
Ambassador Mubako said it was about time Africans dispelled the notion that the continent had no history.
“There are too many myths about Africa that have actually made it to textbooks in world schools,” he said. “Myths such as that Africa has no history or that there are no inventors and discoverers from Africa.
“The Africa Factbook will show that Africa was and remains the backbone of world civilisation and it’s about time we unapologetically push for our right place in the annals of world history.”
In a statement yesterday, the IAK said President Mnangagwa had said the project would fly the national flag high.
“During the courtesy call, both President Mnangagwa and Ambassador Mubako said the project would fly the national flag high and was also endowed with diplomatic prestige, investment-boosting data and would consolidate Zimbabwe’s stature as an educational power house globally.”
The African Factbook was compiled by 45 researchers from across the world that gathered in Zimbabwe for 10 weeks between October and December last year.
It was born out of a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the African Union Commission, the Government of Zimbabwe and IAK in April 2018. The Government agreed to host and support the production of the first edition.
“It is expected that upon publication, The Africa Factbook will become an official source of reference and facts about Africa,” said the IAK.
“President Mnangagwa is expected to contribute a foreword alongside President Ramaphosa of South Africa, who will be the 2020 Chairperson of the African Union.”
The African Union Commission has said the project is in line with the AU Pan African Vision of Agenda 2063 and Aspiration Five, which seeks to enhance the strong cultural identity, common heritage, values and ethics of Africa.
The book is expected to be published by the end of the month once member states complete the validation of the information it contains.