Listing of electronic resources of interest for those searching information on Africa.

Africa-specific databases we subscribe to

Database Access information                   

Africa-Wide Information

Combination of several databases, providing access to more than 4 million records - some with full-text links - from Africa, Europe and USA, including a major part of the NAI Library collection. Information on all aspects of Africa.

Topics: politics, history, economics, business, mining, natural sciences, environment, development, social issues, anthropology, literature, language, law, music, tourism etc.

Sources: books, periodicals and magazines articles, radio and television broadcasts, newspapers, pamphlets, maps, reports, theses, music recordings etc.

Coverage: From the 19th century to the present.

🔓 Automatic access at NAI.

🔎 Via AfricaLit Plus: searchable with limitations. While outside of NAI you need to be signed in to see results.

📡 Apply for remote (off-campus) access.

African News Agency (formerly: South African Press Association, SAPA.)

Full-text news reports covering South African and African news. The database covers the period 1998 - 31 March 2015 and from November 2015 onwards.

🔓 Automatic access at NAI.

📡 Apply for remote (off-campus) access.

African Writers Series

Online edition of modern African literature including 318 volumes (of 365) of fiction, poetry, drama and non-fictional prose.

🔓 Automatic access at NAI.

🔎 Via AfricaLit Plus: searchable with limitations.

📡 Apply for remote (off-campus) access.


Aggregates and distributes news from 140+ African news organizations and own reporters. Top news, latest news, country and regional news, business, sports and various topics. Archives include 5 million+ articles from 1996 onwards.

🔓 Automatic access at NAI.

Aluka, with its sub-collection:

Struggles for freedom: Southern Africa
76 collections, 20K+ objects, 190K+ pages focusing on the liberation struggles in Southern Africa, with an emphasis on Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. More info on JSTOR website.

🔓 Automatic access at NAI.

EiU Country Reports

Country reports and profiles, provided by the Economist Intelligence Unit (coverage: Africa).

More on EiU website: General info. Video tutorials, mainly Country Report and Country Forecast.

🔓 Automatic access at NAI.

📡 Apply for remote (off-campus) access.

SA Media

More than 3 million newspaper and periodical articles within Social sciences, Politics, Economy and more. Searchable through keywords and topics, articles viewable as pdfs. Focused mainly on southern Africa.

🔓 Automatic access at NAI.

📡 Apply for remote (off-campus) access.

Free Africa-specific databases

  • AfricaBib
    Five bibliographic databases in one: Africana Periodical LiteratureAfrican Women, Women Travelers, Explorers and Missionaries to Africa: 1763-2004, Islam in contemporary Sub-Saharan Africa, and Kenya Coast.
  • ASKIA - Access to Scientific Knowledge in Africa
    United Nations Economic Commission for Africa's federated search portal for scientific and socio-economic information on Africa from several different sources - including Open Access literature, commercial databases, online journals, (UN)ECA publications, etc.
  • Connecting Africa
    A service that provides access to African research information and materials produced in the Netherlands and elsewhere.

General (free) databases

  • ACDC-wiki. ACademic Research Information for Developing Countries Wiki. Access to scientific information in developing countries,
  • DART-Europe E-theses Portal. Search electronically published open access dissertations and theses from hundreds of European universities.
  • Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB). Search and browse peer reviewed, scholarly open access books.
  • Nordicom databases on Nordic media research. The NCOM 1975-2006 database contains some 40.000 references to nordic media research publications. The succcessor NCOM continues from 2006/2007 including four different data types: nordic media researchers, research institutions, research projects and research publications.
    NCOM 1975-2006:
    NCOM [2006/2007-]:
  • OAPEN Library. Freely accessible academic books, mainly in the area of Humanities and Social Sciences.
  • Open Knowledge Repository. The World Bank’s official open access repository for its research outputs and knowledge products, among others reports, journal articles, serial publications, working papers etc.
  • Population Index. Abstracts of demographic literature published in the period 1986–2000.
  • The Swedish Media Database (SMDB). Search TV and radio broadcasts, documentary films and much more, some of them with an African focus. Researchers can order materials from the SMDB and access the material either at the National Library in Stockholm or as an interlibrary loan on DVD at a university library. SMDB is only available in Swedish.

  • SwePub, academic publications at Swedish universities. Search among scholarly articles, conference papers and dissertations etc.
  • UNBISNET, United Nations Bibliographic Information System. References to UN documents and publications, articles and books about the UN, speeches of the General Assembly from 1983-, voting records and more.

Even more databases

University and college libraries provide access to various electronic resources. Databases and journals presented here — and others, like JSTOR, Web of Knowledge etc. — may be available through your local library. Ask them.

Uppsala University Library's databases,

Africa African studies Bibliograpic databases NAI Nordic Africa Institute library Research books electronic information resources literature publications social sciences
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