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IFAN (I.F.A.N., Institut fondamental d'Afrique noire or Fundamental Institute of Black Africa) is a cultural and scientific institute in the nations of the former French West Africa. Founded in Dakar, Senegal in 1938 as the Institut français d’Afrique noire (French Institute of Black Africa), the name was changed only in 1966. It was headquartered in what is now the building of the IFAN Museum of African Arts. Since its founding, its charge was to study the language, history, and culture of the peoples ruled by French colonialism in Africa.

By independence in 1960 IFAN had branches across French West Africa, in all the cities which were to become the capitals of independent states. The Dakar IFAN was transferred to Cheikh Anta Diop University in 1960, and Monod was kept on as director until 1965. In 1986 it was officially renamed "IFAN Cheikh Anta Diop", and maintains budgets, administration and staff independent of the university. It is today one of the most prestigious centers for the study of African culture in the world. As the main cultural research center of the colonies of French West Africa, it contains important collections from across Francophone Africa. Most branches of IFAN, notably in Conakry (Guinea), Abidjan (Cote d'Ivoire), and Bamako (Mali), became the basis for national archives and research centers. Some still retain the "IFAN" title. The IFAN of Soudan Francais became the National Museum of Mali, while IFAN of French Guinea became the Institut National de Recherche et Documentation: the National Library, Archives and Museum of Guinea.

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  • July 13, 2024 10:50 pm local time

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