Sahel Secretariat and Documentation Center (I and II). [1976 - 1982]

Co-Principal Investigators

Non-AFRE Co-Principle Investigators: Eugene de Benko, O. Ezera, Joe Lauer and L. Dorsey. MSU LIbrary and David Wiley, African Studies Center

Project Name:           Sahel Secretariat and Documentation Center *
Donor:                        United States Agency for International Development
Contract No:              (I) AID/afr-G-1261:  (II) AID/afr-0929-G-SS-2011-00
MSU Account No:      (1) 71-2003; (II) 71-2020
Location:                    The Secretariat was located at MSU, but materials collection and African network were located in the Sahel countries of West Africa.
Duration:                    (I) September 1976 - December 1982; (II) February 1982 - August 1985
Budget:                       (I) $636,000 and (II) $253,381
Documents:                (Click here to view)

Project Goals:           To acquire, catalog, house, publicize, and make available documents dealing with the socio-economic development of the Sahel: Also to act as a center of expertise and reference for researchers, planners, and consultants working in or concerned with the Sahel region; and to be a major depository and service center for socio-economic publications in the Sahel.

Project Plans/Objectives:

  • To establish the Center as an integral part of the services of the MSU Libraries.
  • To identify, acquire, and process materials relevant to socio-economic aspects of development in the Sahel.
  • To make these materials accessible to the wide spectrum of potential users at MSU, AID, and throughout the Sahel, Europe, and North America.
  • To identify and establish linkages with other centers and organizations with similar functions.
  • To participate actively in the development of information for and about develop men t in the Sahel.

Specific implementation and scope of work requirements included:

1.    To acquire documents concerning the Sahel from around the world with emphasis on agricultural planning and development, small scale industry, human resources development, agricultural marketing, food storage and price policy, transportation, technology transfer (including the Institut du Sahel), ecology, and any other major activity addressed by the Working Group of the Club des Amis du Sahel as essential to planning for the long-term development of the Sahel region.

2.    To coordinate acquisition activities with other repositories of documents concerning the Sahel to establish a division of labor and avoid duplication.

3.    To prepare microfiche copies of acquired documents.

4.    To provide copies of documents or microfiche to the thirteen documentation centers in the Sahel and to the AFR-SWA Documentation Center at AID/Washington.

5.    To provide one copy of English language books or articles dealing with Sahelian socio-economic development to the documentation centers at CILSS (Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso); the Club des Amis du Sahel; the Institut du Sahel- in Bamako, Mali; and to the AFR/SWA Documentation Center at AID/Washington.

6.    To provide technical assistance to the Institut du Sahel in developing a training plan for maintenance and management of their documentation center.

7.    To prepare a quarterly annotated bibliography, the Bulletin on the Sahel, and make it available to concerned parties.

Cooperating Institutions: University of Michigan (CRED), Purdue University, universities and publication offices of institutions in the countries of the Sahel

Project Summary:       The Sahel Secretariat served as a resource base for faculty, graduate students, visiting scholars, and AID personnel who are involved in applied research concerning the Sahel or in implementation of development projects in the Sahel. The Sahel Documentation Center was established by the MSU Library in 1976 to locate and document all known materials on the Sahelian nations of West Africa and to begin returning those materials to the Sahel in microfilm and hard copy for use by those nations in seeking improved quality of life.

The Center provided a source of comprehensive, current, professional information on the Sahel region for AID, other donor agency officials, and consulting firms; for students of Sahel development; and for training, consulting, and research activities in the Sahel conducted by MSU and other institutions. It was co-financed by grants from AID and, through the African Studies Center, from the U.S; Department of Education.

Documents From/About This Project:

*This description is adapted from work by Nancy E. Horn, an MSU alumnus from the Anthropology Department, published in 1985 “A Project History of Michigan State University’s Participation in International Development for the period 1951 – 1985”.  See AFRE Emeritus Faculty Acknowledgements

Michigan State University Michigan State University Close Menu button Menu and Search button Open Close