African Foreign Policy and Diplomacy from Antiquity to the 21st Century

by Daniel Don Nanjira


Africa is a crucible of culture and heritage with a complex history. Indigenous tribal practices and preexisting values were altered dramatically, either by force or as a result of the Christian and Islamic cultures that spread throughout the continent. Later, the domineering forces of European colonial nations brought even greater change. Africa emerged from its colonization an amalgam of diverse and conflicting traditions, legacies, values, and languages. Consequently, these developments have had a wide impact on the formulation and execution of African foreign policy and diplomacy today.

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Cover image for African Foreign Policy and Diplomacy from Antiquity to the 21st Century

October 2010


Pages 531
Volumes 2
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics World History/Politics and Government

This book offers a continent-wide examination of Africa's foreign policy and diplomacy, addressing the relevance of its many languages, precolonial history, traditional value systems, and previous international relationships.

African statehood predates that of Europe, as well as the rest of Western civilization, and yet by imposing Western values on Africa and its peoples, European colonialism destroyed Africa's paradigm of statehood along with its value systems that were ideally suited for this majestic continent. This two-volume book provides a comprehensive survey of the issues and events that have shaped Africa from remotest antiquity to the present, and serves as the foundation of Africa's international relations, diplomacy, and foreign policy.

The first volume of African Foreign Policy and Diplomacy from Antiquity to the 21st Century discusses the determinants of Africa's diplomacy from antiquity to the 18th century; the second volume addresses the further developments of its foreign policy from the 19th to the 21st century.


  • Presents an exhaustive assessment of all the African nations and their international relations from the perspective of African history and the continent's traditions of statecraft
  • Contains fascinating information regarding Africa's natural resource base, its status as the "Cradle of Humankind," descriptions of Africa as ''The Dark Continent," Africa's paradoxes, and the reasons for Africa's isolation, exploitation, impoverishment, and marginalization
  • Six charts provide handy reference to topics such as territories and regions adjacent to Africa in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, dates of independence, status, and leaders of African countries at independence and now, and years of political independence of Sub-Saharan African countries
  • Includes six useful maps, including a world map and physical, historical, colonial, regional and political maps of Africa


  • The first 21st-century book to address the diplomacy and foreign policy of 52 African nations in total
  • Examines diplomacy and foreign policy of African nations vis-à-vis one another and the wider world, rather than a Eurocentric or non-African viewpoint on foreign policy in Africa
  • Presents both a historical and political science perspective by contextualizing current international relations theories and practice in an African context that recognizes indigenous and neocolonial influences
  • Holds value and appeal for academics as well as policymakers, both American and African
Series Description

Praeger Security International

As the world gets "smaller" through technology and globalization, the security risks we face grow and multiply.

International security in the 21st century is not a topic that can be adequately addressed in nightly news soundbites or online articles intended to be relevant for 24 hours or less. Comprehending these complex issues requires insight from foreign policy specialists, diplomats, military officials, peace scholars, historians, and security experts—participants and observers on all sides of each conflict. This series provides the tools for understanding security issues in our uncertain, unstable world.

Written by subject experts and well-known researchers, the books in the Praeger Security International series give readers access to carefully considered and highly informed viewpoints on the critical security issues that threaten to destabilize our world. With titles authored by diplomats, first responders, economists, journalists, civil servants, military leaders and combatants, legal experts, psychologists, and other knowledgeable specialists, these books offer in-depth reflections, thorough analysis, and international perspectives that are unavailable in mass media. These titles represent an invaluable resource for students and researchers as well as anyone who seeks a deeper understanding of the complex issues that affect our lives and future.


  • Provides reliable, comprehensive information on all matters relating to security that is ideal for students, teachers, researchers, and professionals
  • Offers insightful commentaries written by a diverse group of scholars and experts who provide interdisciplinary treatments of newsworthy events and important historical occurrences
Author Info

Daniel Don Nanjira, PhD, is adjunct associate professor of international and public affairs at Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, New York City, NY. He is author of the Praeger publication The Status of Aliens in East Africa: Asians and Europeans in Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya as well as a number of articles and papers, including "African Perspectives on Human Rights." Don-Nanjira is the former ambassador/permanent representative of Kenya to Italy, Greece, Poland, Turkey, Cyprus, and Malta, and former special advisor to the director-general of the World Health Organization on African health policies.



"This two-volume study of African foreign policy and diplomacy reflects several complex goals. . . . Readers will find that his range of topics serves numerous foreign policy goals, expectations, and faculty-student needs. . . . Recommended."Choice

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