Monday, April 25, 2016

Her Royal Highness Princess Sikhanyiso opens SCECSAL 2016 conference

Her Royal Highness Princess Sikhanyiso delivering her remarks
Her Royal Highness Princess Sikhanyiso, who is also the patron of the Swaziland Library Association, has officially opened the XXIInd biennial Standing Conference for Eastern, Central and Southern African Library and Information Associations (SCECSAL), which this year is taking place at the Royal Swazi Sun, in the fast developing town of eZulwini, Swaziland.

In her opening speech, Princess Sikhanyiso urged libraries and librarians in the SCECSAL region to adopt modern information and communication technologies to facilitate digital transformation.

“A massive library with no computers or Internet in this modern age is likely to be as quiet as a graveyard”, Princess Sikhanyiso told participants at the opening session. “How do we keep libraries useful and relevant in the 21st Century?”, asked the Princess.

Under the theme - "Digital Transformation and the Changing Role of Libraries and Information Centres in the Sustainable Development of Africa", speakers and participants at the conference will deliberate on various sub-themes including emerging technologies and their role (Big data, cloud computing, mobile applications, semantic web, text mining, next generation web services etc.); e-governance, e-agriculture, e-health – their roles and impact in development; and the role of social media, social networks and networked information on development.

The papers to be presented at SCECSAL 2016 include:

  • Prof. Ondari-Okemwa Ezra - Developing Digital Information Literacy at institutions of higher learning in sub-Saharan Africa: Opportunities and Challenges.
  • Dr. Sarah Kaddu & Eric Nelson Haumba - Promoting ICT based agricultural knowledge management for increased production by smallholder rural farmers in Uganda: A case of Communication and Information Technology for Agriculture and Rural Development (CITARD), Butaleja.
  • Clement Anubi Fulano - An assessment of the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) Radio in the dissemination of agricultural information: a case study of Balaka District.
  • Khosie Ndlangamandla & Justin Chisenga - Social media in university libraries in the SADC Region.
  • Dr. Connie Bitso - Using WhatsApp to sustain functional school libraries in Khayelitsha.
  • Imbamba Esther Nderitu & Nancy M Kimile - Assessing the status of e-Government development in Kenya.
  • Lantern Rangarirai Fusire & Similo Ngwenya - Promoting innovations from indigenous knowledge in selected communities in Zimbabwe.
  • Hamis Lack Abdullah, Lusayo Mwabumba & Winner Chawinga - Diffusion of information/knowledge for growing forest herbs amongst traditional healers: a case of traditional healers at Ekwendeni, Malawi.
Her Royal Highness Princess Sikhanyiso with participants at the conference
Although the SCECSAL region covers 26 countries in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa, most participants are expected to come from 11 countries in the region – Botswana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The biennial conference is hosted by SCECSAL member Library and Information Associations, and the Swaziland Library Association (SWALA) is hosting the SCECSAL for the second time, 28 years after hosting the conference in 1988.

On Friday, 29 April, the SCECSAL General Assembly will announce the member Association to host the conference in April 2018 and unveil a new logo for SCECSAL.

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