AFTER preparations spanning nearly three years, the process to produce the first edition of “The Africa Factbook” will begin with a workshop from September 30 to October 4 at a Harare hotel before the process gets into full swing for about eight weeks at a secluded facility.
In an interview yesterday, Kwame Muzawazi, the chief executive officer of the Institute of African Knowledge (INSTAK), the research think tank that is implementing the project, said top researchers from Africa and the world will start convening in the country starting tomorrow ahead of an induction week.
“Africa’s first ever official source of data and reference information gets underway in Harare next week.
“The Africa Factbook is an African Union (AU)-backed project to produce new knowledge and facts about Africa for education, reference, statistics, documentation, trade, investment and promotion,” he said.
“The planets have aligned as we finally get to work in the next few days. Researchers from across Africa and beyond, whom we should actually call Africa’s intellectual missionaries, will be here for two months working on the publication non-stop.”
Muzawazi said the researchers first port of call will be Harare for a week long ideological workshop on pan-Africanism, followed by seven long weeks in a secluded facility here in Zimbabwe.
“As a build up to the project, on March 5 in 2018, we hosted an international conference on The Africa Factbook that was officially opened by our Vice President Constantino Chiwenga on behalf of Government and in his speech, the VP Chiwenga said the biggest impediment to African development is lack of home-grown facts about Africa,” he said.
The Africa Factbook came after the African Union Commission, which was chaired by the then chairperson Nkosazana Zuma, was impressed by the Book of African Records which was produced by Muzawazi and recommended that he had the capacity to produce the Africa Factbook.
The AU, after sending a delegation to assess the capacity of Zimbabwe to produce the book, declared and adopted the Africa Factbook as a reference educational tool for African nations.
Muzawazi said upon completion, The Africa Factbook is scheduled for launch at the next African Union Summit of Heads of State and Government in January 2020 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.