The Nordic Africa Institute

Official documents

We have acquired African official documents - government publications - since the 1960s.

In, or via the NAI library

The keyword we add to these materials is official documents. Use it in combination with other search terms when searching AfricaLit Plus External link, opens in new window..

Quick links:

A small number of older official documents are uncatalogued and not found this way.

  • Various shelving locations. With some exceptions, the rule of thumb is:
    • Titles until 1990: in closed stacks. We'll fetch materials for you.
    • Titles from 1990 onwards: in the compact shelves in the library room.
  • Reading room use, at our premises. No home loans.
  • Interlibrary loans may be possible after our assessment of the item in question. If deemed possible, the loan is only for a shorter period and only for reading room use at your local library.

See also our pamphlet collection

Our pamphlet collection includes materials that can be considered official documents.

On the Internet

A starting point to web sites with various official documents is our link collection A Guide to Africa on the Internet. See for instance categories:

In general, when searching on a specific topic it is a good idea to try to think of which ministry may cover that subject, and to look up their website directly. Quite often main government websites/portals have links to ministries.

Learn more

We use the terms official documents, government publications and government documents synonymously.

Official documents comprise all publications produced under the official auspices of legislative bodies, decision-making and judicial organs, civil service departments, courts of law, independent institutions, committees, people in authority, etc.

These publications are essential to social scientific studies on Africa as they are principle information sources for economic, legal, government and political data and are considered to be scientific tools of lasting value. There are:

  • constitutions,
  • censuses,
  • development plans,
  • budgets,
  • economic reports,
  • diverse statistics, and
  • much more.

Authorities with the important task of disseminating basic decision-making data are choosing with greater frequency to make their official documents available on the internet. The range, however, is still uneven, and while some states offer a rich collection of official documents in full text, there are other countries that supply only a limited number of official documents in summarized form.

Our book Studying Africa (2014, 3rd ed.) External link, opens in new window., which is a guide to searching information on and for African studies, has two chapters relevant in this context:

The chapters and the complete book are freely downloadable.