The reconstruction of Early Proterozoic crustal evolution and geodynamic environments, in Africa and South America, is incomplete if cratonic areas alone are studied. If the presence of high-grade gneisses is considered as a first clue to past collisional behaviour, 2 Ga high-grade gneisses are more abundant within the Pan-African–Brasiliano mobile belts than in the intervening pre-Late Proterozoic cratons. The West African craton and the Guiana–Amazonia craton consist of relatively small Archaean nuclei and widespread low- to medium-grade volcanic and volcanoclastic formations intruded by Early Proterozoic granites. By contrast, 2 Ga granulitic assemblages and (or) nappes and syntectonic granites are known in several areas within the Pan-African–Brasiliano belts of Hoggar–Iforas–Air, Nigeria, Cameroon, and northeast Brazil. Nappe tectonics have been also described in the Congo–Chaillu craton, and Early Proterozoic reworking of older granulites may have occurred in the São Francisco craton. The location of the Pan-African–Brasiliano orogenic belts is probably controlled by preexisting major structures inherited from the Early Proterozoic. High-grade, lower crustal assemblages 2 Ga old have been uplifted or overthrust and now form polycyclic domains in these younger orogenic belts, though rarely in the cratons themselves. The Congo–Chaillu and perhaps the São Francisco craton are exceptional in showing controversial evidence of collisional Eburnian–Transamazonian assemblages undisturbed during Late Proterozoic time.