The Nordic Africa Institute

Africa Groups of Sweden, AGS 1974-1992

History

The Africa Groups of Sweden (AGS) was constituted as a national organization in April 1974 in Uppsala. The initiators were local Africa Groups in Uppsala, Stockholm, Gothenburg, Lund and Jönköping. A number of these groups were originally organized in the early 1960s as South Africa Committees, i.a. in Lund and Uppsala. The object was to support the liberation fronts in Southern Africa against colonialism, imperialism and racism on the liberation movements’ own conditions.

Autonomous local groups had already cooperated earlier to a certain degree in studies, production of material and common actions, i.a. the publishing of the periodical “Africa Bulletin”, which was issued from 1963 on under the name of “South and South West Africa Information Bulletin” and further on “Southern Africa Information Bulletin”. Its name was changed in 1994 to “Southern Africa”. Twice a year the local groups met at conferences, but there was no common platform. The most important joint production during these years was the study book “Imperialism and Liberation Struggle in Africa”, which was published in 1972. Fund raising for MPLA in Angola, FRELIMO in and PAIGC in Guinea-Bissau were launched.

The highest decision-making body of AGS was the Annual General Meeting, which elected an executive board and designed programmes and annual plans. Directly responsible to the AGM were the editorial staffs of the bulletin and the serial booklets. This independent status of the editorial staffs soon faded away. There were, apart from an executive subcommittee of the board, also a number of other subcommittees dealing with practical work in different fields like campaigns for South Africa and Zimbabwe. A few slightly autonomous working groups were directed i.a. studies and health care aid for the liberation organizations.

The membership was individual via the local groups. An office was established in Stockholm in 1976 and staff were engaged from 1977.

A main activity of AGS was lobbying the decision-makers of authorities dealing with issues on Southern Africa through campaigns, fund raising and information activities. As early as in 1973 the first “Southern Africa Week” was arranged all over the country, which for many years became an annual event. Tours with African guests were also arranged annually, often to schools. Various courses, sometimes in the form of summer camps, were another activity. Conferences and seminars on different subjects were arranged, i.a. seminars for choirs teaching liberation songs. Furthermore AGS published books, booklets and other information material. Eventually the international cooperation with other anti-apartheid organizations became intensive, especially with the other Nordic countries.

When the Portuguese colonial empire broke down in 1975 and Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau became independent states AGS started project and volunteer activities in these countries. From then on the campaign activities were concentrated more on South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe with support for ANC, SWAPO and the Patriotic Front.

The volunteer activities in Southern Africa eventually became extensive and in 1978 AGS formed a special organization for this work, The Africa Groups’ Recruitment Organization (ARO). This volunteer work started in Mozambique but as the other countries became independent ARO started activities in Angola, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa. The support of projects in the latter two countries was clandestine up to the elections of 1989 and 1994 and was handled by AGS from 1986. Six years earlier AGS started the project “Health Care for SWAPO” in cooperation with the organization “Bread and Fishes” in the SWAPO refugee camps in Angola.

In 1978 AGS initiated the establishment of the “Isolate South Africa Committee” (ISAC). It was an umbrella organization consisting of all types of organizations and institutions that in some way were engaged in support for the struggle against apartheid. ISAC eventually represented 1.5 million people altogether and became a very influential lobby organization. AGS and ISAC cooperated closely.

With the liberation of Namibia in 1990 and the fall of apartheid in 1994 the anti-apartheid work ceased and AGS eventually concentrated on aid activities for the liberated countries in Southern Africa. Consequently AGS and ARO merged in 1992 and formed one organization, “Afrikagrupperna” (Africa Groups of Sweden).

In the 1990s even organizations and institutions as well as individuals were allowed to become members of the organization.

In 1970 there were four local Africa Groups in Sweden. Five years later there were seven and in 1982 they had increased to 17 together with 18 contact persons all over the country. The four local groups together had about 100 members in 1970. In 1982 AGS had roughly 1,000 members and in 1992 almost 1,500.

The volumes contain extensive correspondence, primarily with solidarity workers but also authorities in various aid countries. There is also material from seminars on solidarity work and minutes and accounts of the organizations' operations as well as material from various projects and campaigns along with courses and seminars.

Contents

[Sub-collection] Ann Andrén's Private Collection
[Sub-collection] Bertil Egerö's Private Collection
[Sub-collection] Bertil Högberg's private collections (on Africa Groups material)
[Sub-collection] Bertil Malmström's Private Collection
[Sub-collection] Dick Urban Vestbro's Private Records
[Sub-collection] Georg Dreifaldt's Private Collection
[Sub-collection] Knut and Margareta Bergknut's Private Collection
[Sub-collection] Lars Rudebeck's Private Collection
[Sub-collection] Lund's Africa Group, LAG
[Sub-collection] Sture Lidén's Private Collection
[Sub-collection] Uppsala Africa Group, UAG
[Series] Minutes and documents: Annual General Meetings and Conferences
[Volume] Meetings and Conferences 1971-79
[Volume] Meetings 1980-84
[Volume] Meetings 1985-88
[Volume] Meetings 1989-91

[Series] Minutes with attachments: Board meetings
[Volume] Minutes 1975-80
[Volume] Minutes 1980-82
[Volume] Minutes 1982-84
[Volume] Minutes 1984-86
[Volume] Minutes 1986-87
[Volume] Minutes 1987-88
[Volume] Minutes 1988-90

[Series] Minutes with attachments: Executive Subcommittee meetings
[Volume] Minutes 1976-80
[Volume] Minutes 1980-82
[Volume] Minutes 1982-84
[Volume] Minutes 1984-86
[Volume] Minutes 1986-87
[Volume] Minutes 1987-88
[Volume] Minutes 1988-90

[Series] Minutes with attachments: Various subcommittee meetings
[Volume] Meetings 1976-90
[Volume] Meetings 1980-90
[Volume] Meetings 1980-90

[Series] Minutes with attachments: Various working group meetings
[Volume] Group meetings 1977-90

[Series] Minutes with attachments: Africa Bulletin Editorial Committee meetings
[Volume] Meetings 1968-86

[Series] Minutes: Staff meetings
[Volume] Staff meetings 1980-88

[Series] Circular documents, statements, brochures, leaflets, drafts etc.
[Volume] Various 1970-84
[Volume] Circulars 1975-85
[Volume] Various 1984-86
[Volume] Various 1986-87
[Volume] Various 1987-88
[Volume] Various 1988-89
[Volume] Various 1989-90
[Volume] Various 1990-92

[Series] Diaries
[Volume] Diaries

[Series] Indexes, lists
[Volume] Indexes, lists

[Series] Correspondence: Stockholm office
[Volume] Correspondence 1991-92
[Volume] Correspondence 1986-87
[Volume] Correspondence 1985-86
[Volume] Correspondence 1985-86
[Volume] Correspondence 1985-86
[Volume] Correspondence 1985-86
[Volume] Correspondence 1984-85
[Volume] Correspondence 1984-85
[Volume] Correspondence 1984-85
[Volume] Correspondence 1984-85
[Volume] Correspondence 1986-87
[Volume] Correspondence 1986-87
[Volume] Correspondence 1987-88
[Volume] Correspondence 1990-91
[Volume] Correspondence 1990-91
[Volume] Correspondence 1989-90
[Volume] Correspondence 1989-90
[Volume] Correspondence 1988-89
[Volume] Correspondence 1988-89
[Volume] Correspondence 1988-89
[Volume] Correspondence 1987-88
[Volume] Correspondence 1987-88
[Volume] Correspondence 1984-85
[Volume] Correspondence 1983-84
[Volume] Correspondence 1983-84
[Volume] Correspondence 1981-82
[Volume] Correspondence 1975-81
[Volume] Correspondence 1975-81
[Volume] Correspondence 1980-81
[Volume] Correspondence 1980-81
[Volume] Correspondence 1975-80
[Volume] Correspondence 1971-80
[Volume] Correspondence 1977-81
[Volume] Correspondence 1975-81
[Volume] Correspondence 1981-82
[Volume] Correspondence 1981-82
[Volume] Correspondence 1981-82
[Volume] Correspondence 1983-84
[Volume] Correspondence 1983-84
[Volume] Correspondence 1983-84
[Volume] Correspondence 1982-83
[Volume] Correspondence 1982-83
[Volume] Correspondence 1982-83
[Volume] Correspondence 1982-83
[Volume] Correspondence 1982-83
[Volume] Correspondence 1981-82
[Volume] Correspondence 1974-81

[Series] Correspondence: Africa Bulletin
[Volume] Correspondence 1969-75
[Volume] Correspondence 1976-81
[Volume] Correspondence 1982-85
[Volume] Correspondence 1986-90

[Series] Subject related records: Campaigns, tours, public and private meetings
[Volume] Various 1975-80, and undated
[Volume] Various 1990-91
[Volume] Various 1988-90
[Volume] Various 1989-90
[Volume] Various 1987-89
[Volume] Various 1986-87
[Volume] Various 1985-86
[Volume] Tours 1985-86
[Volume] Various 1985-86
[Volume] Various 1985-86
[Volume] Various 1984-85
[Volume] Operation Day's Work 1983-84
[Volume] Amandla tour 1983
[Volume] Various boycott campaigns 1982-83
[Volume] Various 1982-83
[Volume] Various 1981
[Volume] Various 1980
[Volume] Various 1978-80
[Volume] Various 1991-92

[Series] Subject related records: Conferences, seminars, courses, camps etc.
[Volume] Various 1972-80
[Volume] National conferences etc. 1987-88
[Volume] International conferences etc. 1987-88
[Volume] National conferences etc. 1988-89
[Volume] International conferences etc. 1988-89
[Volume] National conferences etc. 1989-90
[Volume] International conferences etc. 1989-90
[Volume] National conferences etc. 1990-91
[Volume] International conferences etc. 1990-91
[Volume] International conferences etc. 1986-87
[Volume] National conferences etc. 1986-87
[Volume] International conferences etc. 1986
[Volume] Conferences and meetings 1979-80
[Volume] International and national conferences, meetings etc. 1980-82
[Volume] International and national conferences, meetings etc. 1982-84
[Volume] Hearing on South Africa's aggressions, Oslo 1984
[Volume] International and national conferences, meetings etc. 1984-85
[Volume] National conferences and meetings etc. 1985-86
[Volume] International conferences and meetings etc. 1985-86
[Volume] People's Parliament against Apartheid 1986
[Volume] National and international conferences etc. 1991-92

[Series] Subject related records: Travels and visits
[Volume] Various 1976-87
[Volume] Various 1988-92
[Volume] Various visits to Sweden 1991-92

[Series] Subject related records: Investigations, evaluations, research etc.
[Volume] Various 1973-92
[Volume] Sanctions and sanctions monitoring 1984-90

[Series] Subject related records: Material production
[Volume] Various 1972-86
[Volume] Manuals for local Africa Groups 1981, 1991
[Volume] Various 1975-85
[Volume] Various 1985-92

[Series] Subject related records: Subcommittee documents
[Volume] Trade union subcommittee 1981-86
[Volume] Trade union subcommittee 1987-89
[Volume] Subcommittees 1984-85
[Volume] Campaign subcommittee 1986

[Series] Subject related records: Internal discussions
[Volume] Internal discussions 1970-91

[Series] Subject related records: Staff and office
[Volume] Staff and office 1975-91

[Series] Subject related records: Volunteers and recruitment
[Volume] Various 1976-78

[Series] Subject related records: Projects in Southerrn Africa
[Volume] Projects 1975-87
[Volume] Health care and land reform in South Africa 1991-92
[Volume] Health care in South Africa 1990-91
[Volume] Health care, land reform and archives in South Africa 1990-91
[Volume] Health care and media in South Africa, etc. 1990-91
[Volume] Projects 1989-91
[Volume] Projects 1987-90
[Volume] Projects in Namibia 1988-89
[Volume] Health care in South Africa 1988-89
[Volume] Projects 1987-89
[Volume] Projects 1985-88
[Volume] Literacy project in Guinea-Bissau 1977-80
[Volume] Media and health care in South Africa 1991-92

[Series] Subject related records: Various
[Volume] Various 1977-88

[Series] Economic documents
[Volume] Cashbooks etc. 1971-82
[Volume] Fund raising 1971-89
[Volume] Various 1973-88
[Volume] Cashbooks etc. 1975-78
[Volume] Cashbooks etc. 1975-80

[Series] Printed matter
[Volume] Books, programmes and statutes 1976-90
[Volume] Serial publications 1974-87
[Volume] Periodicals: Africa Bulletin, Southern Africa
[Volume] Various periodicals
[Volume] Various 1973-93
[Volume] Information pamphlets: AGIS information. 1982-92
[Volume] Various information material 1968-73
[Volume] Various information material 1976-92
[Volume] Various 1981, 1985

[Series] Audio-visual material
[Volume] Various 1979-88
[Volume] Soundtracks from ICSA conference in Södertälje 1980
[Volume] Mastertapes: Amandla; Uppsala Africa Group's Choir 1981, 1983
[Volume] Various, undated

[Series] Press cuttings
[Volume] Press cuttings 1977-79, 1984-87

Access

The archive is available at ARAB.

Repository

Archives and Library of the Swedish Labour Movement, ARAB
[Arbetarrörelsens arkiv och bibliotek]
Postal and visiting address: Elektronvägen 2, 141 49 HUDDINGE, Sweden
Telephone: +46 8 4123929
Fax: +46 8 4123990
http://www.arbark.se/en/

Address

The Africa Groups of Sweden [Afrikagrupperna]
Tegelviksgatan 40
SE-116 41 Stockholm
SWEDEN
Telephone: +47 8-442 70 60
E-mail: post@afrikagrupperna.se
http://www.afrikagrupperna.se/external link, opens in new window

Extent:

176 vol. + 12 boxes.

Ref. code:

1325

Country:

Sweden

Period:

1974-1992

Keywords:

Africa Groups of Sweden AGS Afrikagrupperna Voluntary organizations Nonprofit organizations Uppsala Stockholm Gothenburg Lund Jönköping History Anti-apartheid movements Solidarity movements Liberation organizations Anti-racism movements Anti-imperialism Africa Bulletin South and South West Africa Information Bulletin Southern Africa Information Bulletin Southern Africa Imperialism and Liberation Struggle in Africa MPLA Angola FRELIMO Mozambique PAIGC Guinea-Bissau Southern Africa Week The Africa Groups’ Recruitment Organization ARO Cape Verde Zimbabwe Namibia South Africa Health Care for SWAPO Bread and Fishes BF Brödet och Fiskarna Isolate South Africa Committee ISAC Isolera Sydafrika Kommitteen ISAK ARO solidarity work