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The Africa Fund records

Identifier: 744

Scope and Contents

The Africa Fund records cover the era independence movements on the African continent against the British, Dutch, French, German, and Portuguese colonial governments. The records document settler and exploitative colonialism that occurred in Angola, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. The records also cover the era of civil wars within these African countries following independence, including South Africa's apartheid government and anti-apartheid campaigns there, as well as in the United States and Europe. The records document the relationship of the United States with these colonial powers and new governments, including policies toward minority regimes and the various political parties and coalitions of the indigenous independence movements in the region. The records' strength lies with materials regarding the anti-apartheid movements in South Africa and Namibia and highlight U.S. investment within them.

Main topics include: Anti-apartheid sanctions; consumer and cultural boycotts, demonstrations, and protests; enforcement of arms embargos; economic conditions and trade; detention, treatment, and release of African political prisoners; free and fair elections; human rights violations throughout Africa; liberation movements in southern Africa and post-independence civil war; divestment of public funds in banks and corporations dealing in southern Africa; and United States policy and legislative action.

Political parties and organizations represented in the records include: Angola's MPLA (People's Movement for Liberation of Angola), FNLA (National Front for the Liberation of Angola), and UNITA (National Union for the Total Independence of Angola); Mozambique's FRELIMO (Front for the Liberation of Mozambique) and; Guinea Bissau's PAIGC (African Party for the Independence of Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde); Rhodesia's ZANU (Zimbabwe African National Union), ZAPU (Zimbabwe People's Union), and UANC (United African National Council); and South Africa's ANC (African National Congress) and PAC (Pan Africanist Congress).


  • Created: 1952-2001
  • Other: Majority of material found in 1979-1997
  • Other: Date acquired: 01/09/1989


Conditions Governing Access

The records of The Africa Fund are open and available for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright to these papers has not been assigned to the Amistad Research Center. It is the responsibility of an author to secure permission for publication from the holder of the copyright to any material contained in this collection.

Historical Note

The Africa Fund, a non-profit 501(c)3 organizations, was founded in 1966 by the American Committee on Africa (ACOA). The Africa Fund and ACOA shared office space and some staff (including the Executive Director), and there was some overlap between the boards of the two organizations. The Executive Directors were: George M. Houser (1966-1981), Jennifer Davis (1981-2000) and Salih Booker (2000-2001).

The Africa Fund worked to support the struggles against colonialism and apartheid in Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, Namibia, Zimbabwe (Rhodesia) and South Africa. The Africa Fund provided material assistance to the education and health programs of African liberation movements, including the Mozambique Institute, a FRELIMO-run school in Tanzania. The Africa Fund distributed the money raised by the Sun City album, including sending $220,000 to the Solomon Mahlangu Freedom College (SOMAFCO) run by the African National Congress (ANC) in Tanzania; $160,000 to the South African Council of Churches to aid political prisoners and their families; and $119,000 each to TransAfrica and the ACOA for anti-apartheid educational work in the United States.

The Fund also provided clothing, medicine, and other support to refugee camps run by liberation movements of South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Western Sahara in Angola, Mozambique, Zambia and Algeria. It provided small emergency assistant grants to African refugees in the U.S., and conducted research into U.S. corporate involvement in southern Africa. It published numerous publications that were widely used by other solidarity organizations in the U.S., from short fact sheets to a comprehensive directory of U.S. corporations doing business in apartheid South Africa and illegally occupied Namibia.

The Africa Fund sponsored a weekly half hour television news program "South Africa Now" produced by Globalvision from 1988 to 1991. The Africa Fund conducted public education campaigns in the U.S., including the "Unlock Apartheid's Jails" campaign for the release of detainees and political prisoners in South Africa. In the 1990s, The Africa Fund had an active program supporting the struggle against the dictatorship in Nigeria. Following the end of apartheid, the Fund had a program to promote the involvement of state and municipal officials with U.S. policy toward Africa, including campaigning for the cancellation of Africa's debt.

In 2001, The Africa Fund, ACOA and the Washington, DC-based Africa Policy Information Center merged to form Africa Action and somewhat later the New York office was closed.


360.00 Linear Feet

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Arrangement Note

The records of The Africa Fund are divided into three main file groups for the paper-based portion of the collection: Administration, Projects, and Research, with additional series for oversized items and audiovisual materials. The file unit order for each group and sub-group is generallyalphabetical by category, country or organizational name, or topic then descending chronological order within each group.

Physical Access Requirements

The records of The Africa Fund are stored off-site, please contact the reference services department at (504) 862-3222 for access prior to a scheduled visit.

Technical Access Requirements

The audiovisual items within The Africa Fund records are in diverse formats. Please contact the reference services department at (504) 862-3222 for access prior to a scheduled visit.

Source of Acquisition

The Africa Fund

Method of Acquisition


Accruals and Additions

The records of The Africa Fund were received by the Amistad Research Center in stages from 1989 to 2000.

Related Materials

The records of the American Committee on Africa (ACOA) and the Campaign to Oppose Bank Loans to South Africa (COBSLA) held at the Amistad Research Center are closely related to The Africa Fund records.

Separated Materials

An extensive collection of publications created and compiled by The Africa Fund and the American Committee on Africa were cataloged and transfered to the Amistad Research Center's library.

Processing Information

The archival processing of The Africa Fund records was completed from March 2013 to February 2015. This project received funding assisstance from the Council for Library and Information Resources (CLIR) in 2011.

The Africa Fund records
Laura Thomson, Felicia Render, Brenda Flora and Diane Galatowitsch
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Repository Details

Part of the Amistad Research Center Repository

6823 Saint Charles Avenue
Tilton Hall, Tulane University
New Orleans LA 70118 US
(504) 862-3222