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African Geographical Review
Volume 29, Issue 1, June 2010



Assessing Sub-Saharan Africa’s University-Level Geography Resources: A Preliminary Investigation

William G. Moseley (Macalester College, USA) and Kefa M. Otiso (Bowling Green University, USA)


Remarkably few studies have been undertaken to assess the level of university geography resources within Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries.  While reviews of the state of geography have been done in some African countries, none have been attempted at the continental scale.  Such assessments are a starting point for beginning to understand whether or not African students and governments have adequate access to sufficient amounts of geographic knowledge, perspectives and techniques; skills which are increasingly crucial for surviving in a world dominated by rapid change.  This study presents and analyzes a simple inventory of geography programs in SSA.  The spatial distribution of geography programs across the continent is assessed, as well as the rank of countries in terms of their university-level geography programs.   The authors further seek to explain the observed distribution of geography programs and comment on some broader historical trends within academic geography on the continent.

Key words: African geography programs, African universities, colonialism and geography

The analysis, maps and tables in this editorial are based on a preliminary inventory of geography and geography-related departments in Subsaharan Africa compiled in the January-April 2010 period.