Africa-Wide Information (formerly, Africa-Wide NIPAD): Introduction

A guide for the use of the 50 databases available in Africa-Wide Information.

Sample Topics







Legal Systems




Natural Resources


Curremt Events

Cultural History and Heritage






General Database Description

Africa-Wide Information (formerly, Africa-Wide NIPAD)

Africa-Wide Information is a collection of fifty different databases provided in one source.  It is produced by NISC (National Inquiry Service Centre) of Grahamstown, South Africa.  The fifty composite databases are divided into three database clusters, namely African HealthLineAfrican Studies (General), and South African Studies.  Each of these modules is analyzed in detail in the pages of this guide (which see).  The total collection provides access to 4 million records from the 19th century to the present.  Databases are sourced both general and African-related agencies from Africa, Europe, and North America. 

Scope--Africa-Wide Information provides a wide range of multidisciplinary resources on Africa, including coverage for all 56 African countries.  Contents include the humanities, social sciences, health sciences, development data, cultural heritage information, and material in African languages.

Formats--The aggregation of databases includes news articles, journal citations, research reports, conference proceedings, grey literature, monographs, manuscript collections, theses and dissertations, and government publications.  Useful abstracts are included in the citations if available from the database source.  A minority of sources are available full-text.

Searching Tips--When searching a topic, all 50 databases in Africa-Wide Information will be included in the results unless one restricts the search to one or several databases.  To narrow results, choose the advanced search option and limit your search to a specific field, such as title, abstract, or geographical term. 

It is also possible to limit the search to a single database.  This can be done by highlighting the desired database in the "Data Collector" box on the search screen.  Bear in mind that searching a single database will not include related information in other databases, and is not generally recommended.   

Subject Guide

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