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The writing of African History by non Africans especially the Europeans during the period of colonial domination is what is referred to as Colonial historiography. This was pioneered by explorers, Christian Missionaries, travelers, anthropologists and ethnographers. Most of the writings of these people were euro-centric, written in the European perspective and in most cases to justify European imposition of colonial rule. All kinds of devices were used to justify their claim over Africa including scientific explanations such as the Hamitic hypothesis. The euro-centric views emphasized European racial superiority to justify imperialist activities of Europeans in Africa. The African perspective was completely left out.

In that respect the claim was made that history began only when men began to write. And since Africa had no written records before the advent of Europeans, Africa had no history before that time. And even during colonialism or its preceding years of trade, the history of Africa is equated with the activities of Europeans in Africa.

This however has been debunked by African historians who have shown from both written (Arabic and Moslem sources) and oral sources that Africa indeed had a history before and during colonial period outside of their relation with Europeans.

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Q: What is African Colonial historiography?
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