The Future of the Project

The project Fontes Historiae Africanae was conceived from the first as open-ended and indefinate in duration. Unless suficient alternative outlets for source publication became operational (Internet publication etc.), there seems little prospect of the FHA project in its current form becoming redundant for the foreseeable future.
The preparation of volumes and actual publishing is being done at the national level.
Financial assistance provided by the UAI (and CIPSH) in the last few years did not support actual publications, which were organized and financed through the national committees, but related solely to the organization of international meetings. The holding of the meeting in an African country had been successful in facilitating African participation, the practise should therefore be continued. Such meetings were of great value in facilitating the exchange of information about activities and ideas about priorities not only among FHA Committees, but also between the FHA and other institutions involved in source publication, especially in Africa, in order to promote complementarity and avoid duplication of effort. New directions should be also explored by the Fontes Committees, namely a closer association with ongoing work by African colleagues. In the case of African countries which do not have functioning Academies or institutions of similar standing, alternative arrangements for their institutional representation in the project should be explored. Contacts should be maintained with interested individual African scholars, including their attendance as participants or observers at international FHA meetings. It should be possible for African scholars from African countries without FHA national committees to make proposals through other national committees (works by African scholars had in fact been accepted for publication by the UK national committee and other national committees should follow suit), or some arrangements for co-publication between FHA National Committees outside Africa and local publishers in Africa should be sought. Some ways of financing African projects and supporting actual publications prepared by individual African scholars should be sought, there should be in the future some possibility of seeking recognition from the FHA international committee, in case the latter would have some resources from the UAI and/or CIPSH (UNESCO) to provide financial assistance.
The fact that the publishing is being done at the national level, also raises the problem of the homogeinety of the Fontes publications.The most effective approach to this problem would be in the future to commit resources for actual publications to the FHA International committee. If this is not to be the case and the work of the project will continue to be done at the national level, some coordination and dissemination of knowledge is inevitable. All this is very important because there are similar projects in existence,
At the international meetings held in Africa, it was also noted that the limitations of distribution, and especially the high cost, of previous FHA volumes restricted their availability to scholars within Africa.