AncestryDNA results from East & North Africa

I have created a new page featuring the AncestryDNA results for persons from East Africa as well as North Africa. I will create new sections for West Africa and also Central/Southern Africa shortly. Despite the minimal number of results i have collected sofar i also provide some statistical data, background information and relevant context.

Follow this link to view the page:

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Implications for Afro-Diasporans

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HGDP database incl. Namibian samples (“Bantu S.W.”= Southwestern Bantu)


Source: Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP)


In order to improve the interpretation of the socalled “Southeastern Bantu” region it is crucial to be aware that this region is based on HGDP samples from Kenya (unspecified Bantu), South Africa (Pedi, Sotho, Tswana and Zulu) and Namibia (Herero, Ovambo). Obviously for East Africans a genetic similarity to the Kenyan samples will apply. However for Afro-Diasporans in the Americas any socalled “Southeastern Bantu” score will in most cases be the result of genetic similarity to the Namibian samples. Namibia being a neighbouring country to Angola, which has been a significant region of provenance for practically all Afro-Diasporans in the Americas. I will eventually do a more detailed follow-up blog on the implications for Afro-Diasporans.

4 thoughts on “AncestryDNA results from East & North Africa

  1. This is so insightful, great analysis! Hidden in the background of so-called “Bantu” seems to harbor an East or Northeast African origins: That these results possibly hint to historical migrations of this group (proto “Bantu”) from the North and not necessarily from the conventional starting point of Nigeria/Cameroon. That latter may be an aftermath of said migration, just one of the pit stops prior to moving South from the Western point. There seems to have been an Eastern point of departure moving South too.


    • Thanks so much for your comment, truly appreciate it! There is still a lot to be uncovered when it concerns ancient migrations across the African continent. I find it all very fascinating. Even when it might be confusing i guess when people are expecting their DNA results to reflect only recent lineage. However – even when obviously interrelated – genetics will never be a carbon copy of a traditional family tree format whereby a person can describe themselves as being 1/4 ethnicity A, 1/4 ethnicity B and 1/2 ethnicity C. Simply due to the fact that each of these ethnic groups A, B and C might very well have overlapping or even identical DNA because of shared origins from a very distant (proto-ethnic) past. And of course also recombination comes into play.

      The wideranging geographical spread of the socalled “Southeastern Bantu” region is intriguing indeed. However the patterns we are seeing now are bound to be distorted because AncestryDNA is using three different groups of Bantu speaking peoples from Kenya, South Africa and also Namibia (which is actually Southwestern Bantu!). Furthermore there is currently an absence of Nilotic or Cushitic speaking sample groups in the reference panel used by AncestryDNA. For Northeast Africans it is obviously genetic similarity to the Kenyan samples which is causing them to receive socalled Southeastern Bantu scores. This can be considered a valid outcome given the restrictions of AncestryDNA’s analysis. However the labeling will be a huge misnomer for them. For people from Angola as well as Afro-Diasporans with Angolan origins it will be rather the genetic similarity with the Namibian samples which will result into socalled “Southeastern Bantu” scores, and again this will be a misnomer as in fact Angola and Namibia are located on the west coast 😉


  2. Data collection is very biased and the survey is designed to give the answers you the answers that serve you biases.. we need prominent African scientists free of ties to the establishment to go into Africa and do this analysis. Western scholarship has failed the African continent over and over.. it cannot be trusted..


    • 1) The only bias in my datacollection is because of *availability*. The limitations of my samplesize are mentioned explicitly from the start. DNA testing is increasingly getting popular with Africans. However naturally only a very small minority of Ancestry’s client database is consisting of Africans (or rather African migrants living in either the US or Europe).

      Whichever North or East African AncestryDNAresults i am fortunate in receiving will be featured on this blog. And they are also included in my survey spreadsheet. They are the underlying basis for the group statistics i discuss in this particular blog section. Therefore my data-entry & calculations can be counterchecked by anyone who feels the need to do so. As i aim for being as transparent as possible. In addition this blog section includes more than a dozen Youtube videos by self-identified North & East Africans which independently corroborate the main variation i describe over there.

      2) I am conducting my survey to improve correct interpretation of AncestryDNA’s regions for both Africans themselves and people in the Afro-Diaspora. Throughout my blog i clearly outline any relevant limitations which should be kept in mind when reading my posts. The history, motivation and research goals of my AncestryDNA survey are described in greater detail on this page:

      AncestryDNA Survey

      3) I  strongly believe that local African perspectives and local African contexts should be involved and taken into consideration in this type of research. While any misguided projection of internalized values, emotions or experiences from the Americas should be avoided. Especially when this leads to an ideologically-driven distortion of Africa’s history. I think it’s encouraging that ever more Africans are raising their voices against the ill-conceived misrepresentation of their continent’s heritage:

      A Re-Emerging Scam: A Review of The Jews of Nigeria  (Igbo Cybershrine, 2013)
      Africa and Afrocentric Historicism: A Critique (Tunde Adeleke, 2015)

      4) Constructive criticism is always welcome (when done in a respectful manner). But if you’re merely looking for confirmation of preconceived notions i suggest you take it elsewhere. I will not allow my blog to be used as a platform for hate-speech or extremists.


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