Focus and Scope

Africa Spectrum was first published in 1966 by the GIGA Institute of African Affairs (IAA) in Hamburg. It is an inter-disciplinary journal dedicated to scientific exchange between the continents. The journal focuses on socially relevant issues related to political, economic and socio-cultural problems and events in Africa as well as on Africa's role within the international system.

For five decades Africa Spectrum has regularly provided – three times per year – profound analyses of current issues in political, social and economic life; culture; and development in sub-Saharan Africa. Africa Spectrum is the leading German academic journal exclusively devoted to this continent and is part of the GIGA Journal Family.

Since 2003 the journal has collaborated closely with the African Studies Association in Germany (Vereinigung für Afrikawissenschaften in Deutschland, VAD). Members of the VAD contribute in various ways to the success of the journal, for example, as authors or as referees in the peer-review process. A subscription to the journal is included in the VAD membership fee. Nevertheless, the independence of the journal and its editorial policy is guaranteed. As of late 2015 the Arnold Bergstraesser Institute has been co-operating with the GIGA/IAA.

Africa Spectrum is published in English only. The journal also accepts French- and German-language articles during the review process; however, accepted articles will have to be translated into English before publication (either by the author or through the editorial department). In addition, Africa Spectrum, unlike some other Open Access publications, does not charge its authors any fee.

Articles covering various topics are regularly included, but the journal also publishes special issues devoted to specific subjects. The editing of such a special issue by a guest editor is possible by arrangement. The journal also includes historical studies that illuminate current events on the continent. In addition, it carries debates, short contributions and book reviews.


Section Policies

Research Articles

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Checked Peer Reviewed

Analyses and Reports

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Unchecked Peer Reviewed


Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Unchecked Peer Reviewed

Review Articles

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Unchecked Peer Reviewed

Book Reviews

Checked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Unchecked Peer Reviewed


Introduction to a special issue by a guest editor

Unchecked Open Submissions Checked Indexed Unchecked Peer Reviewed

Peer Review Process

It is the responsibility of the editorial team to maintain high editorial standards and to ensure that the journal fulfils its stated mission. When a paper is submitted, the editor first decides if it is suitable for inclusion and falls within the journal's remit. If the article is peripheral to the journal's area of interest, either it will be rejected immediately or the editor will ask the author to resubmit it after it has been revised.

After this first step, the evaluation of (only) Research Articles submitted is undertaken through a double-blind peer review. The editorial team selects two (sometimes three) independent reviewers who do research in the same area as the author and are subject specialists. In the double-blind process, all information in the paper which identifies the author is removed and the paper is transformed into a secure PDF file and sent to the reviewers. The reviewers then judge the paper and return it to the editors, who pass the reviewers' anonymous comments back to the author. Anonymity is strictly maintained. Neither the author nor the reviewers know each other's identity.

If the reviewers request that an article be revised, the author has the opportunity to amend the article and resubmit it for review. At this second review stage, the editorial team decides if the alterations the author has made have taken into account all the points raised in the initial reviews. Accordingly, the paper will be accepted or will receive a final rejection.


Open Access Policy

This journal provides immediate Open Access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.


Privacy Statement

The names and e-mail addresses entered in this journal's site will be used exclusively for the stated purposes of this journal and will not be made available for any other purpose or to any other party.


Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement

The journal adheres strongly to the guidelines of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). All instances of publishing misconduct, including, but not limited to, plagiarism, data fabrication, image/data manipulation to falsify/enhance findings, etc., will result in rejection/retraction of the manuscript in question.

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