Now in its third edition, this is a bigger (more than 11,000 entries), updated (through late summer 2005) version of the 1989 original, covering the enormous kaleidoscope of changing political boundaries, names, and rulers of Africa. This exhaustive reference allows the user quickly to determine what happened in or to each country and when - changes of names, political systems, rulers, and so on. The term "state" is loosely defined to embrace, throughout the history of Africa, any area of land with recognized borders and evidence of a continuing governmental structure, almost always with a capital city. Entries give official name of country, dates during which it went by that name, location, capital, alternate names, including cross-references to previous and later incarnations, and a list of rulers with dates of power when known. A new table details AIDS in the African states.