This biography of Hakalla Amale, which contains few historical details and draws its information from only three oral history sources, belongs to the new historiography of African (and world) Christianity to which the DACB project is contributing in a modest way as a first-generation repository of biographies.
With 282 biographies as of July 2015, the Ethiopia index has the third largest collection of biographies (after Nigeria and South Africa) in the DACB database, but it is a mere trifle in the continent's extraordinary historical legacy.
In describing the mission of the DACB, Jon Bonk loves to remind his listeners that some memory, however imperfect, is better than no memory at all.
In this article Bonk spells out the vision and modus operandi of the DACB.
Contributors to the DACB include persons such as Dirshaye Menberu, retired professor from Addis Ababa University and 2005-6 Project Luke Fellow, who wrote the story of Abba Estifanos (Abba means "Father").
Names with asterisks are entries in the DACB and can be freely accessed using the indexes or online search function.
As virtually the only central source of information on African Christian biography, the DACB Web site is experiencing steady and growing traffic, from a daily average of 493 "page views" in June 2003 to 731 in April 2004.
The Centre for the Study of Christianity in Asia (Trinity College, Singapore) is using the DACB as a model to produce an Asian Christian biographical database, as are the Don Bosco Centre in Shillong, India, and the Trinity Methodist Church in Selangor Dural Ehsan, Malaysia.
Anyone browsing the DACB will at once be struck by the patchiness of both the quality and consistency of the over one thousand biographies that currently make up the database.
An effort is being made to encourage incorporation of biographical research and writing assignments into the syllabi of appropriate university or seminary courses, utilizing the standards provided by the DACB.
In addition, the DACB has cosponsored a series of one-week oral history workshops in Kenya, Zambia, and Madagascar, attracting faculty members and academic researchers from scores of African countries.
The DACB initially explored setting up an Arabic-language coordination office in conjunction with the Global Institute South at Uganda Christian University.