Thursday, January 12, 2017

Online course on Access to Scientific Information Resources in Agriculture for Low-Income Countries

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and Research4Life have announced an online course on "Access to Scientific Information Resources in Agriculture for Low-Income Countries”.

Registration is open from 11th-27th January 2017.

The course will be for four weeks from 13th February to 10th March 2017.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Call for papers: Access to Information Network – Africa (ATINA) Special Interest Group

IFLA's Access to Information Network – Africa (ATINA) Special Interest Group has issued an invitation for papers to be presented at its Open Session at the IFLA World Library and Information Congress,  19–25 August 2017, Wrocław, Poland.

The theme of the Group's Open Session will be "Knowledge Systems for Sustainable Development Goals".

For details, visit Access to Information Network – Africa (ATINA) Special Interest Group.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

2016 CERN-UNESCO School on Digital Libraries to be held in Ghana

Are you interested in deepening your understanding of digital libraries, and learn about new trends in scientific publishing, and principles related to open access, both for data and publications, crucial to promoting open science?

The 2016 CERN-UNESCO School on Digital Libraries is scheduled for Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, Ghana, from 28th November to 2nd December 2016.

The School is organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN).

For detailed information and on how to apply, see:

2016 CERN-UNESCO School on Digital Libraries

Are you interested in deepening your understanding of digital libraries, and learn about new trends in scientific publishing, and principles related to open access, both for data and publications, crucial to promoting open science?

The 2016 CERN-UNESCO School on Digital Libraries is scheduled for Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, Ghana, from 28th November to 2nd December 2016.

The School is organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN).

For detailed information and on how to apply, see:

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

ULIA goes to the polls: Elects first female president.

The Uganda Library and Information Association today Wednesday 3rd August went to the polls to elect her new leadership. Dr Sarah Kaddu was elected the new president of the National LIS body taking over from Professor Contant Okello Obura of Makerere Univerity. In what seemed to be a tight race between Mr Mukiibi Edward, a Librarian at Kyambogo Univerity,  
Dr. Sarah Kaddu second left with her new team.
and Dr. Sarah Kaddu who is a renowned LIS trainer  from Makerere University, the latter trounced her opponent with an overwhelming majority of 97 to 38 votes, making history as ULIA's first elected female head of library fraternity and pledging a "fundamental breakthrough  " within the country, regional, continental and global library associations and stages. “We know that your vote was a vote for transformation, a vote for a better and rebranded ULIA ... and we have heard you loudly," Sarah told the cheerful librarians in her inaugural speech. 
Known for her compassion and resolve, Sarah brings a wealth of experience to the association as many have a lot of hopes in her leadership, having served as the association secretary general from 2008-2012 and currently engaged in a number of continental and global LIS responsibilities. 

President elect Dr. Sarah Kaddu makes her acceptance Speech
Dr Kaddu will be deputized by Mr Nabongo Godfrey for the next three years. Mr Nabongo has been the ULIA vice President since 2012 to date. Other members of the executive include Mr. Charles Batambuze, to serve as Secretary General. Charles is the Executive Director of National Book Trust of Uganda (NABOTU) and he springs back to the ULIA administration since serving in the same capacity in 2004.   The association Treasury will be controlled by Mr. Timu Godfrey from Parliament of Uganda while the hardworking, determined and robust Winny-Akullo Nekesa benefited from her devotion by retaining her seat as publicity secretary un-opposed. Worth noting is, all the members of the new executive are highly respected figures in the country, region and some internationally.  Dr Kaddu, Mr. Nabongo, Mr. Timu Gedfrry and Ms Winny-Akullo were all stand-out and instrumental figures during SCECSAL 2016 in Swaziland in a bid to bring the event to Kampala in 2018.   In attendance were SCECSAL stalwarts Professor I.M.N Kigongo Bukenya and Professor Maria Musoke. 
Professor Kigongo Bukenya (standing) making a speech after elections
The huge task awaiting the new executive is to unite the seemingly divided library fraternity in Uganda, increase on member subscriptions, making ULIA more visible and most importantly staging a successful and memorable SCECSAL event come 2018. On behalf of the SCECSAL region, join me in thanking the outgoing executive led by Professor Constant Okello-Obura for the good work and congratulate Dr Sarah Kaddu and her new team. 

We wish you the best during the next three years in office. 

Friday, July 29, 2016

Request for Nominations: Integrated environmental understanding of food security in Africa

The ACEIE (African Centre of Excellence for Information Ethics: is busy planning a conference on "ICTs and Food Security in Africa" together with Fort Hare University. However, their network does not include specialists in this field of sustainable food security. This event is scheduled to take place 2-4 November 2016, in East London, South Africa. In your interaction with researchers in your country and beyond, can you please be so kind as to advise on whom the Organizers may contact?  The organizers would like to have Africa especially the SCECSAL region well represented during this global event. The event organizers can only invite and sponsor 30 participants, hence it is fundamental to find the most appropriate representatives in this field.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact
Mrs Rachel Fischer
Research Officer: African Centre of Excellence for Information Ethics
Administrative Coordinator: MIT Stream B
Department of Information Science
University of Pretoria
012 420 5218

Friday, July 8, 2016

Applications are now open for the Carnegie CPD8 Programme

Applications are now open for the last in-take of the Carnegie CPD Programme at University of Pretoria (UP). This four week intensive programme is geared towards enhancing librarians' ICT skills for research enablement in African universities.
The programme is proudly sponsored by Carnegie Corporation of New York and hosted by UP.
Librarians from Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda between the age of 25-45 with 5 – 7 years’ working experience are eligible.
Carnegie CPD 2 Class of  2014 at University of Pretoria
Take time to apply for this programme because it’s a key project that is changing the professional lives of many young librarians around the continent through Continuous Professional Development (CPD).
The programme empowers the next generation of library and information professionals within Sub-Saharan African countries with hands-on skills to apply current and emerging information and communication technologies (ICTs) and well as building capacity amongst library and information services (LIS) professionals to support and enable researchers in their institutions.
Applications close on 1st of August 2016 eligible applicants are advised to apply early enough.
The following documents should be emailed to Joan de la Haye at
A detailed CV,  a recommendation letter from your current employer / line manager, a commitment from your current employer that they will make time available for you to attend the four week programme and academic documents and transcripts.
Prospective students are also required to write an essay of approximately 1000 words explaining why they would like to participate in the programme, what they hope to learn from the programme, should be selected for the programme and what they hope to contribute to the programme.
For Details

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

African Forum for ICT in Libraries and Information Centres (AFILIC)

There are many libraries in Africa that are still using the card
catalogue in steady of online systems (Photo: Justin Chisenga)
Library and information professionals with a strong interest in the use of ICT in libraries and information centres in Africa, who in April 2016 attended the XXII SCECSAL conference in Ezulwini, Swaziland, have established the African Forum for ICT in Libraries and Information Centres (AFILIC).

The goal of AFILIC will be to provide a platform for expertise and dialogue on how to effectively and efficiently integrate ICT into libraries and information centres in Africa to facilitate the delivery of dynamic library and information services that contribute to national, regional and global development agendas.

AFILIC will:
  • Facilitate knowledge sharing, lessons learned and good practices on the use of ICT in libraries and information centres; 
  • Promote innovative use of ICT in libraries and information centres;
  • Advocate for increased investments in ICT facilities for libraries and information centres and equitable access to ICT; 
  • Facilitate capacity development for ICT staff in libraries and information centres; 
  • Conduct research, document and disseminate information on the use of ICT in libraries and information centres.
AFILIC will carry out its activities through virtual and face-to-face forums including online platforms such as Dgroups, Webinars, etc.; and conferences, seminars, workshops, etc. AFILIC also plans to organize a biennial Africa ICT in Libraries Conference.

AFILIC membership is open to decision makers and practitioners involved in ICT initiatives in libraries and information centres. Specifically these include:
  • Individuals (i.e. directors, head of ICT departments/units, etc.) with overall responsibility for ICT initiatives in libraries and information centres;
  • Individuals (i.e. systems librarians, information technology librarians, IT specialists, etc.) managing ICT in in libraries and information centres; 
  • Individuals with a strong interest in the application of ICT in libraries and information services;
  • Students of IT/ICT and library and information studies interested in the in the application of ICT in libraries and information services.
To join AFILIC, complete the Forum’s Dgroups membership form (all the fields should be completed) at:

Justin Chisenga (Italy) is leading the Forum as Executive Coordinator, with Ms Winny Nekesa (Uganda) serving as Secretary, and Ms Khosie Ndlangamandla (Swaziland) as Professional Networking Officer.

The Forum’s Secretariat is hosted by ITOCA (Information Training and Outreach Centre for Africa) based in Centurion, South Africa.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Apply Now: Young African Entrepreneurs Competition

The Young African entrepreneurs deserve every opportunity to be supported to succeed in their business ventures; they also deserve the opportunity to be heard, exposed and supported to increase their social capital and network horizon. RUFORUM invites young (<40 years) African entrepreneurs and incubatees, to compete for 10 conference awards to show case their innovations, enterprises and business concepts and propositions. The focus is for the young entrepreneurs to share their story at an International stage with close to 700 participants drawn from academia, business and industry, development organisations, practitioners and philanthropists.  It is hoped that through this competition, young entrepreneurs’ business concepts, impact, innovation and business opportunities can be expanded.While the focus of this competition is on innovation in agribusiness, other innovations, incubations, business enterprises and business concepts along ICTs, health, engineering, natural resources, meteorology,  urbanization, green economy, and transport and communication, among other areas, will be considered.
The ten (10) competitively selected business enterprises will receive all expenses paid trip (air ticket, conference registration, and hotel costs) for participation at the RUFORUM Biennial Conference (17th -21st October, 2016) in Cape Town, South Africa. The selected young innovators will also receive a competition cash price award.
Applications are invited from enterprises and individuals that meet the following eligibility criteria.
Persons with an established business enterprise and/or those with innovations that can potentially be commercialized and/or those with business concepts
The business enterprise/potential enterprise should have a defined business model that show case the innovativeness of the proposed enterprise/business/innovation.

Application submission process: All applications should be sent to with copy to Dr. Egeru Anthony ( and Dr. Uwituze Solange (

Submissions should be in English or French using the template provided.

Deadline for submissions is 30th July, 2016. Results will be announced by 30th August, 2016.

For details click:

Good luck!!!!!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

SCECSAL 2016 proceedings available at US$25

Copies of the publication on display during the SCECSAL
conference in Swaziland
A limited number of copies of the book containing the papers presented at the XXIInd Standing Conference of Eastern, Central and Southern African Library and Information Associations (SCECSAL), 25-29 June 2016, Ezulwini, Swaziland, are available for purchase from the the Swaziland Library and Information Association (SWALA) at US$25 + postage.

Send requests to:

John Paul Anbu K.
Vice-Chairperson – SCECSAL 2016 LOC

A selection of the papers in the book include the following:
  • Prof. Kingo Mchombu & Dr. Chiku Mchombu, University of Namibia - “Achievement Of Digital Literacy In A Country: The Role Of African Public Libraries”
  • Neesha Ramsumar, Universal Knowledge Software (UKS), South Africa - “A Sustainable Information Environment in Africa, With Specific Reference to Cloud and Mobile Technologies”
  • Dr. Connie Bitso, University of Cape Town, South Africa - “Using Whatsapp to Sustain Functional School Libraries in Khayelitsha”
  • Esther Nderitu Imbamba and Nancy M Kimile, Maasai Mara University, Narok, Kenya. - “Assessing the Status of E-Government Development in Kenya”
  • Prof. Maria G. N. Musoke, Makerere University - “Electronic Health Initiatives Support Information Access and Use for Sustainable Development in Uganda”
  • Khosie Ndlangamandla,  Mananga Centre, Ezulwini, Swaziland &  Justin Chisenga, FAO. Rome, Italy - “Social Media in University Libraries in the SADC Region”
  • Siviwe Bangani, Sabelo Chizwina, and Mathew Moyo, North-West University, Mafikeng Campus, South Africa - “Beyond The Ivory Towers: The Experiences Of North-West University (NWU) Library Services In Community Engagement Projects”
  • Prof. Ondari-Okemwa Ezra, University of Fort Hare, South Africa - “Developing Digital Information Literacy at institutions of higher learning in sub-Saharan Africa: Opportunities and Challenges”

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Information Studies Conference at the University of Zululand

The Department of Information Studies at the University of Zululand will be hosting the 17th Information Studies Conference on the 7th – 9th September 2016. The purpose of the conference is to explore and share current research results and experiences in information and knowledge in the changing environment of the 21st century. The conference theme is "Information and Knowledge in a Changing Environment". Some of the topics of interest to be addressed include, but are not limited to the following: 

• Archival Management
• Bibliometrics, Webmetrics and Scientometrics
• Digital Divide
• Digital Libraries and Open Source Software Technology
• E-government/E-governance
• E-learning Innovations
• Freedom of Access to Information and Privacy
• ICT for Development
• ILS Education and Training in Information/Knowledge Management
• Indigenous Knowledge Management
• Information and Knowledge Economy
• Information and Knowledge in the Cloud
• Information Security
• Information Storage and Retrieval
• Information/Knowledge Ethics
• Integration of Social Networking Tools
• Knowledge Discovery Tools – Web and Linked data
• Open Data and Open Government
• Records Management
• Research and Data Management
• Virtual Community Information/Knowledge Services

The conference will be held at Richards Bay. A lot of accommodation is available at surrounding lodges and hotels.

For more information about the conference, click here

Also contact:

 Dr. Neil Evans at
 Dr. Trywell Kalusopa at

See you there!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

SCECSAL adopts a resolution to establish a Permanent Secretariat

Representatives of SCECSAL member Associations
who took the bold decision to establish a permanent
secretariat for SCECSAL [Photo: Justin Chisenga]
The General Assembly, the highest authority of the Standing Conference of Eastern, Central and Southern African Library and Information Associations (SCECSAL), resolved on 29 April 2016 at its XXIInd meeting in Ezulwini, Swaziland, to establish a Permanent Secretariat for SCECSAL.

The 11-member General Assembly also resolved to amend the SCECSAL constitution to pave the way for the establishment of the Permanent Secretariat and to put in place mechanisms to ensure proper coordination of the Forum’s activities, and monitoring implementation of its resolutions and decisions.

The members also resolved that the Swaziland Library and Information Association (SWALA) would henceforth temporarily host the SCECSAL Secretariat until such time as a permanent secretariat is established and becomes operational.

SCECSAL, established in 1974, has had its secretariat held and managed by member Associations on a rotational basis for a term of two years each.

Efforts to establish a permanent secretariat, as part of the need to reform SCECSAL, have been going on since the SCECSAL conference in 2000, in Windhoek, when Charles Lungu, the then Deputy University Librarian at the Copperbelt University, Kitwe, Zambia, proposed changes to “SCECSAL without altering its character” and recommend the formation of a federation of library associations in the region, which would have committees to carry out functions including those that SCECSAL has been accused of failing.

Participants at XXIInd SCECSAL in
 Ezulwini, Swaziland [Photo: Justin Chisenga]
In 2002, at the SCECSAL conference in Johannesburg, a proposal was made again to establish a permanent secretariat and was later discussed at the 2004 conference in Kampala, and in both cases the General Assembly failed to make a decision.

The 2002 and 2004 efforts were followed, in 2007, by a proposal from the Tanzania Library Association, under the guidance of Dr. Alli Mcharazo, which outlined three options for SCECSAL reforms:

  • transforming SCECSAL into a regional body with registered chapters in the member countries, with Governing Council comprising of the President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Board Members [directly elected]; 
  • forming a Regional Federation of Library, Information Associations and Institutions (RFLIAI) to resemble IFLA; and 
  • establishing a Congress of Library and Information Associations and Institutions in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa headed by an Executive Board made up of board members from each member library Association and Institutions. 
The proposal was discussed at the SCECSAL General Assembly meetings in Lusaka (2008) and Gaborone (2010) and there was no consensus on which of the three options to be adopted, and the issue disappeared from the SCECSAL agenda until April 2016 when it re-surfaced.

Considering the failure, on several occasions, in the past by the SCECSAL General Assembly to radically reform SCECSAL, the 29 April 2016 resolution to work towards establishing a Permanent Secretariat is a very bold move.

However, unless things move at a relatively faster pace than has been the case in the past, and the Presidents and Chairpersons of the SCECSAL member Associations act in good faith during the process of setting up and choosing the member Association to host the Permanent Secretariat, SWALA might as well start preparing to host temporarily the permanent Secretariat for SCECSAL for a long time.
Visit the SCECSAL website to download a copy of the XXII SCECSAL Resolutions.

Monday, May 30, 2016


The Association for Health Information and Libraries in Africa (AHILA) announces the 15th Biennial Conference which will be held in Kampala, Uganda from 17-21 October 2016. AHILA was founded in 1984 with the aim of improving provision of up-to-date and relevant health information; encourage professional development of health librarians; promote information resource sharing in Africa and exchange of experiences as well as promoting the development and standardization and exchange of health databases in Africa.
Congress theme: “Access to and utilization of health information in Africa: New challenges, new solutions!” 

    Potential authors are notified that the deadline for abstract submission has been extended to 30th June, 2016. 
For details click on

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Occasional courses for 2016 (Digital Curation, Teaching & Learning for LIS Professionals and Research Data Management)

The Library and Information Studies Centre at the University of Cape Town will shortly be offering master’s level courses in Digital Curation, Teaching & Learning for LIS Professionals and Research Data Management that are ideal for persons and/or organisations seeking continuing professional development in these new skills areas.

Kindly see the advertisement for more details.

Library and Information Studies Centre
University of Cape Town
email: or tel.: +27 21 650 4546

Monday, May 23, 2016

Experience at the ICT4D Conference 2016, Nairobi Kenya

Dear colleagues, it’s impossible to describe the feeling of being a part of an incredible event in a few words but this is what I am just about to share with the SCECSAL fraternity and probably beyond. I had a chance to attend this year’s 8th edition of ICT4D2016 (Information and Communications Technology for Development,   hosted by Kenya .I had a fantastic time attending the ICT4D2016 conference. Amazing event incubating a multidimensional mass of sciences, art, technologies and culture. Inspiring talks, creative vibes, excellent organization, awesome exhibition design, innovation and technologies characterized this global event in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.
Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi addressing delegates at
the opening ceremony

A very good concept, very good opportunity for networking and exchanging ideas, bringing over 1200 delegates from 300 organizations from over 80 countries together in the world, helping each other to cooperate and build bridges in the global development agenda using ICTs. The conference also brought together thought leaders and experienced professionals from around the world to share and explore ways of using ICT to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
With a comprehensive and interactive programme, the conference explored the innovative approaches to Cloud Computing, VOIP, VLE and Network Provision as well as looking into what tools and applications are available to support the attainment of SDGs. Other key issues that were raised during the conference included;
The role of public-private sector partnerships in the attainment of SDGs.It was also made very clear that SDGs have to be people-centric if we are to achieve them. It was further noted that actors should be very careful when telling clients that technology is the solution. It was noted that Technology is not the ultimate solution but part of the solution a notion that all experts agreed with.
A panel of experts responding to questions during a plenary session.  
Different people need data in different ways and data is good but not important. What matters is information. There was a big suggestion that academic institutions have to be brought on board to transform this data into meaningful information. At this point, I realized the role of Library and Information professionals. The role of an Information society was also highlighted.

In summary, the event featured a moderated panel of leaders and experts from private sector, governmental and non-governmental organizations. It focused the question of whether or not the use of information and communications technology can enable regions, countries, and communities to overcome complex development challenges and actually achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Members of the press were present and were able to interact and debate fully in conference and deeply engaged the panelists. Such opportunities have to be leveraged by librarians and I urge everyone to try to seize such opportunities in future for our own benefit. Finally as SCECSAL forum, we could benchmark from such events and drive our forum to greater levels.