Roger Pfister. Internet for Africanists and Others Interested in Africa. Basel, Switzerland: Swiss Society of African Studies and Basler Afrika Bibliographien, 1996. 140 pp. SF13.50 (paper), ISBN 978-3-905141-67-2.
Reviewed by Harold Marcuse (Michigan State University)
Published on H-Africa (June, 1996)
This is a useful, clearly written, and well-organized guide to Africanist resources on the Internet. It has been produced with the novice in mind, although the more experienced of us will appreciate the mass of information that Roger Pfister has put at our fingertips, if not into our computers in searchable, electronic format. The digirati will find most useful the addresses of "Sub-Saharan Africa related internet sites," which are organized by subject from Art to Weather (To my surprise, I found that Michigan State University has an on-line daily African weather service; now I have the address.). Finally, Pfister provides addresses of mailing lists, H-Africa among them, and search engines.
Yes, there are some mistakes: my address, for example, lacked an all-important period; and the author has missed some items, probably inevitable in a medium that changes and grows daily. Mostly, however, the book is an important marker of the progress of the Internet to fashion means of communication that go beyond the familiar paper media that constitute the legacy of the German-style research university. Although Pfister points out the bureaucratic, logisitical, political, and economic impedimenta facing the wiring of the continent and the widespread use of the Internet, his research reveals that South Africa is already a party to the new age and is dragging the adjacent subcontinent into the electronic web. The rest of the continent inevitably will follow. I recommend that specialists buy this book; it's a terrific bargain. (It can be purchased through Basler Afrika Bibliographien, CH-4001 Basel, Postfach 2037, Switzerland).
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Harold Marcuse. Review of Pfister, Roger, Internet for Africanists and Others Interested in Africa.
H-Africa, H-Net Reviews.
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