Friday, October 6, 2017

Registration for the 4th edition of ASIRA online course opens

Registration for the 4th edition of the online Access to Scientific Information Resources in Agriculture (ASIRA) course is now OPEN (till October 15th; Sunday 23:00 CEST)!

The course runs for 3 weeks from 30th October to 19th November 2017.

The main goal of the course is to provide a platform to enhance the visibility, accessibility and usability of data and information in the agricultural domain, particularly in low-income countries.

Who can apply?
Academics, researchers, librarians and postgraduate (master and PhD) students who work in the fields of agricultural sciences can apply to the course. Group A and group B Research4Life eligible countries, respectively, have the priority in the selection process.

Online Registration Form:

Further information:

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Nomination for 2018 SCECSAL Author Awards opens

The SCECSAL Secretariat and the Uganda Library and Information Associations (ULIA) are pleased to announce the opening of submissions for the 2018 SCECSAL Author Awards to be presented to winners at the XXIII SCECSAL Conference in April 2018 in Entebbe, Uganda.

SCECSAL Author Awards, in form of cash and a certificate, honours and recognizes individual works by library, information and knowledge professionals in the SCECSAL region in two categories - Best Author (Journal Articles and Chapters in Books) and Best Author (Books).

Only works published from 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2017 and focusing on any area or theme in the library, information and knowledge field/work in the SCECSAL region are eligible for the 2018 awards.

Library and Information Associations in the SCECSAL region should review the guidelines for the Awards available on the SCECSAL website and submit their nominations by 31 December 2017.

Individual authors are also encouraged to nominate themselves through their national Library and Information Associations.

Send the nominations along with the copies of the works using any reputable courier services to:

John Paul Anbu K.
Swaziland Library and Information Association
University of Swaziland Library, Kwaluseni Campus
Kwaluseni, Matsapha M201
Tel: +268 2517 0153
Mobile: +268 26239865

After sending the nominations by courier service please send the tracking number to with a copy to

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

SCECSAL Secretariat issues a call for bids for XXIV SCECSAL Conference in 2022

Mr. John Paul Anbu K (r) and Mr. Justin Chisenga (l)
consulting during the SCECSAL conference in 2016 in
Ezulwini, Swaziland
[Photo: Khosie Ndalangamandla]
The SCECSAL Secretariat, hosted by the Swaziland Library and Information
Association (SWALA), on Tuesday issued a call for bids for hosting the XXIV conference of the Standing Conference of Eastern, Central and Southern African Library and Information Associations (SCECSAL) in 2022.

The call was distributed on the SCECSAL discussion forum for Presidents and Chairpersons of the SCECSAL member Associations on the Dgroups platform.

The host for the XXIV SCECSAL conference will be confirmed in Entebbe, in April 2018, thus consolidating the 2016 decision of the SCECSAL General Council to select future conference hosts four years in advance.

In an interview with the SCECSAL Forum Social Reporter, Mr. John Paul Anbu, SWALA President, welcomed the decision to announce the SCECSAL conference hosts four years in advance.

“Selecting hosts four years in advance gives a chance for the hosting country to plan well in advance. This also provides an opportunity for the associations that are not very active to put their act together to host a successful conference”, Mr. Anbu said.

Eligible member associations

Participants from Lesotho at the SCECSAL 2008
conference in Lusaka, Zambia [Photo: Justin Chisenga]
The SCECSAL General Council recently adopted new guidelines for selecting the hosts of future conferences and under these guidelines only SCECSAL member Associations from Botswana, Lesotho, South Africa and Swaziland are eligible to bid for the 2022 conference.

The Uganda Library and Information Association (ULIA) is set to organize the XXIII SCECSAL conference next year and the Namibian Information Workers Association in 2020.

The new guidelines divide SCECSAL into three sub-regions -  Eastern: Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda; Central: Namibia, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe; and Southern: Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and South Africa – and forbid a sub-region from hosting consecutive conferences unless circumstances dictate so and the decision is approved at least by two thirds of the members of the SCECSAL General Council.

“Rotation of SCECSAL conferences among sub-regions provides equal opportunity for the associations in the sub-regions in terms of hosting and equal opportunity for participants to visit other sub-regions for conferences”, Mr. Anbu said.

The four countries in the Southern sub-region have all hosted SCECSAL conferences in the past with Lesotho first hosting the conference in 1980 and later in 1996; Botswana in 1986 and in 2010; South Africa in 2002; and Swaziland in 1988 and 2016.

Deadline for bids

The closing date for submitting the bids, which should adhere to the new guidelines, is 31 January 2018.

All bids should be submitted to:

The President
Swaziland Library and Information Association
P.O. Box 2309
Mbabane, H100
Tel: +268 2517 0153
Fax: +268 2404 3863

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

SCECSAL adopts revised guidelines for author awards and for selecting future conference hosts

Paper presenters  at SCECSAL conferences now
stand a chance to be nominated for the best paper awards
[Photo: Justin Chisenga] 
Presidents and Chairpersons of the 11 SCECSAL member Library and
Information Associations have approved the revised guidelines for the SCECSAL Author Awards and for selecting future hosts for SCECSAL conferences.

The two sets of guidelines were adopted on Monday, 18 September 2017, following a motion tabled by the Swaziland Library Association, the current Chair of the SCECSAL General Council.

Selecting winners for author awards

The Author Awards guidelines cover the selection of the SCECSAL Author of the Year and the Best SCECSAL Conference Papers.

The guidelines make provisions for two categories for the Author Award – Best Author (Journal Articles and Chapters in Books) and Best Author (Books); address the process for nominating and selecting the winners; and provides for the appointment the Awards Selection Committee made up of five recognized authors in the library, information and knowledge or related field.

The prize for the winners of the Author of the Year Awards will be in form of cash and a certificate while the winners for the SCECSAL Conference Paper Awards will receive certificates.

Conferences hosts to be announced four years in advance

Under the new guidelines for selecting SCECSAL Conference hosts, future hosts for the conference will be announced four years in advance and therefore the host for 2022 will be announced at the SCECSAL XXIII conference in Uganda in April 2018.

The arrangement to announce the conference hosts four years in advance formalises the decision that was made in 2016 at the SCECSAL conference in Swaziland where the hosting of the 2020 SCECSAL conference was awarded the Namibia Information Workers Association (NIWA).

The guidelines also ensure that no SCECSAL sub-region hosts consecutive SCECSAL conferences unless circumstances dictate so and the decision is approved by at least two thirds of the of the SCECSAL members. For this purpose, the current 11 active SCECSAL members have been categorized into the following sub-regions - Eastern: Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda; Central: Namibia, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe; and Southern: Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and South Africa.

Since Uganda is hosting the 2018 conference and Namibia in 2020, the 2022 conference will go to any of the four countries - Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and South Africa - in the Southern Africa sub-region.

Implementing 2016 SCECSAL resolutions

The adoption of the guidelines follows a resolution in 2016 by the General Council to review and amend the SCECSAL constitution to include terms of reference for the Permanent SCECSAL Secretariat and other appropriate provisions to strengthen SCECSAL operations and monitoring mechanisms, and simplify the biding process for hosting SCECSAL conferences.

In 2018, the representatives of the SCECSAL member Associations, during the XXIII SCECSAL conference to be held from 23 to 28 April in Entebbe, Uganda, are expected to discuss and adopt the amended SCECSAL constitution.

Monday, September 11, 2017

ULIA President sends greetings and advance welcome message to SCECSAL XXIII participants

Sarah Kaddu, PhD
President, ULIA
The President of the Uganda Library and Information Association (ULIA), Dr. Sarah Kaddu, has sent warm greetings and extended an advance warm and big welcome to library and information professionals in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa and beyond, to the SCECSAL XXIII conference to be held from the 23rd – 28th April 2018 at the Imperial Resort Beach Hotel, Entebbe, Uganda.

Dr Kaddu, in her welcome note posted on the SCECSAL website, said: “There will be colourful opening and closing ceremonies, plenary and professional sessions, exhibitions, the memorable Cultural Evening and tours to different places such as the historical Uganda Martyrs shrines in Namugongo, the Source of the Nile, the Equator, Kasubi Tombs, Uganda National Archives and other crowd pulling places of interest. The weather during the conference will be friendly. Security is assured”.

"I extend to all of you a big and warm welcome to SCECSAL XXIII, Entebbe, Uganda, 23rd – 28th April, 2018", Dr. Kaddu said.

ULIA has made significant progress in preparing for the SCECSAL XXIII conference and thus far the National Organizing Committee (NOC), headed by Prof. Okello-Obura Constant, has:

  • Selected sixty abstracts, through a blind review process, from among 131 that were submitted for consideration. 
  • Contacted authors whose abstracts were not accepted for paper presentation and highly advised them to consider presenting posters so that the region does not completely miss out on their good ideas.
  • Worked on arrangements to hold a conference composed of plenary sessions, parallel workshops, special and poster sessions as well as exhibitions of different library materials, products and equipment from different stakeholders in the library and information fields and beyond. 

Approximately 400 participants (librarians, information scientists, documentation officers, archivists, records managers, publishers, books sellers, academics, ICT innovators, literacy experts, policy makers, etc.) are expected to attend the SCECSAL XXIII conference.

Registration for the conference is now open and the registration form (in PDF) is available here.  The following are the applicable registration fees:

  • Early Bird Registration (deadline 31st January 2018) = USD 360.00 
  • Late Registration (by 31st March 2018) = USD 400.00 
  • Onsite Registration (from 24th April 2018) = USD 430.00 

Rental fees for exhibition stalls (2 x 2 square metres) are fixed at USD 200.00.

Delegates and exhibitors are strongly advised to leverage the early bird registration dates to confirm their attendance.

The organizes have identified many hotels along the Entebbe-Kampala highway that are closer to the conference venue. Among others, they include:

For detailed information about the hotels and other suitable accommodation facilities available in Entebbe town, visit and search for Entebbe.

The NOC is advising potential delegates to the conference to visit the website of the Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for entry visa and related information including the list of countries exempt from paying visa fees, visa fees, etc. Application for e-Visas is also available on the same website.

Further information on the conference is available on the ULIA SCECSAL XXIII conference website.

Inquiries should be sent to

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Zambia benefits from AfLIA’s INELI programme

By Raymond Sikanyika

Ms. Kalaba Mweni, Zambia’s INELI Innovator.
[Photo: Brian Chileshe] 
Zambia is one of the 32 countries benefitting from the International Network of Emerging Library Innovators (INELI) programme. INELI is an initiative of the Global Libraries (GL) programme, managed by the African Library and Information Associations and Institutions (AfLIA), that was established to support the transformation of public libraries into engines of development. It does this by supporting upcoming public librarians to develop innovative services for the benefit of their communities. AfLIA is the professional trusted voice for libraries and librarians in Africa.

Zambia is represented by Luapula Provincial Librarian, Ms. Kalaba Mweni Kolandi, a dedicated and committed public librarian who has been practicing librarianship for 14 years. Since the inception of the INELI programme in April, 2016, Zambia has benefited tremendously through this programme.

Being a network of library leaders around the world, INELI has proved to be a useful network where public librarians are learning from other librarians and working together online to acquire skills and share experiences in developing and implementing innovative services for communities.

Through this programme, the Zambian INELI Innovator, Kalaba, has grown her knowledge in providing better and innovative library services in her library. In Luapula Province, where her public library is located, Kalaba has been working with school librarians to better library service delivery through innovation. With her exposure, the Zambian INELI innovator, is able to facilitate workshops based on other workshops she has attended. In July 2016, during the Library and Information Association of Zambia (LIAZ) Annual General Conference, She made a presentation to the delegates on the INELI programme, explaining what the programme is about, its objectives and how she intended to impart the knowledge she was learning with other librarians in the country. At this conference, Kalaba attended a session on Customer Care and Customer Service in libraries which she later shared with school librarians in her province through a workshop she facilitated. She has done presentations to senior provincial government officials on the role of libraries in helping achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s). In the Provincial Library, Ms. Kalaba has created a Water Corner, promoting SDG number 6 which looks at ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. The Corner has materials promoting water conservation and good sanitation. The library also provides computer lessons to Grade 6 pupils.

The Mansa town community continues to benefit from the partnership which the provincial library has with Chakopo Primary School to teach reading and writing to adults who have dropped out of school. There is also a homework clinic for learners whose parents do not have skills to enable them help the children or are busy and unable to help. The provincial library staff have also developed outreach programmes to Mansa General Hospital and Senama Clinic children’s wards where the library takes books and toys for children among other things. The library staff read stories with the children and play with them.

On a national level, Kalaba joined other experts in facilitating at a public librarians workshop on
Ms. Kalaba Mweni facilitating at the 2017 LIAZ Annual General Conference
[Photo: Brian Chileshe] 
innovation in libraries in March, 2017. The workshop was organized by LIAZ in partnership with Lubuto Library Partners in the Southern Province of Zambia. A total of 26 public librarians benefitted from this training workshop. In addition, Kalaba also made a presentation to 115 delegates during the 2017 LIAZ Annual General Conference that was held in Siavonga. She presented on Community partnerships and enlightened delegates including association leaders of what makes up good partnerships and how partnerships can help us improve service delivery in libraries.

The INELI innovator has also done various publications on the INELI programme in the LIAZ Newsletters.

The Programme is having a lot of positive impact on librarians as the knowledge being gained is being shared with other librarians in the country. There has been a lot of emphasis on innovation in libraries in Zambia. The country is grateful to this programme and look forward to more of such initiatives by AfLIA.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Zambia revives Open Door Children’s Corners in public libraries

By Raymond Sikanyika

Services to children and youth are at the heart of what it means to be a responsive public librarian in
A newly rehabilitated children’s corner
[Photo: Brian Chileshe] 
Zambia, where children and youth make up more than half of the national population. Access to information is a fundamental human right. Public libraries, as institutions mandated to provide equal information access to people from all walks of life, have a particularly significant role to play in advancing this right. Public libraries, by nature of their functions, play a key role in national development.

Children and youth are among the important categories of people who need ready access to information as well as other quality library services.

For a long time in Zambia, most public libraries did not have desirable spaces designated for children’s library services. This situation did not motivate children to seek library services as they should.

Zambia was privileged to receive support from Book Aid International (BAI). This was through a partnership between the Ministry of General Education through Zambia Library Service and BAI. This partnership saw six provincial libraries; Mansa, Chipata, Mongu, Solwezi, Kasama and Choma receive support to rehabilitate the children’s corners and also received grants for the purchase of books with particular emphasis on local content. In addition, public librarians in the provincial libraries received training on the management of children’s library services.

Kitwe Public Library, under the Ministry of Local Government received support from Book Bus to improve the services in the children’s corner in the Kitwe City Council Library. The Book Bus is a unique mobile literacy service that promotes reading skills and spreads the joy of storybooks. It was founded by publisher Tom Maschler with the aim of supplying books and making them accessible to children to help get more children reading and therefore be able to make more choices about their own lives. The Book Bus aims to improve child literacy rates in Africa, Asia and South America by providing children with books and the inspiration to read them.

Out of a desire to build the national capacity of the profession in relation to children’s services, Library and Information Association of Zambia collaborated on the development of a national survey for public librarians, including both council libraries and provincial libraries, to identify how public libraries in Zambia are currently serving children and youths. Based on gaps and challenges that emerged from this survey, LIAZ and Lubuto Library Partners (LLP), an NGO that provides an open system of libraries and accessible services, and works with professional colleagues to build capacity to serve young people through public libraries, decided to team up in the development of a training program for public librarians that would address the critical need for support in relation to children’s services and programming, children’s collection development, and other areas of collective interest. This study was conducted as a result of the need to improve the provision of library services in public libraries in Zambia.

A public librarian conducting a children’s session
[Photo: Brian Chileshe] 
LLP and LIAZ collaboratively planned, scheduled, and funded a week-long training opportunity for provincial and council librarians from 20 – 24th March 2017, that was held in Monze, Southern Province. The training attracted public librarians from across the country. A total of 26 public librarians including representatives from partner organizations participated in the training.

This training was to complement the support from BAI and Book Bus to ensure that the rehabilitated children’s corners were effectively made use of. Public librarians in Zambia acquired various skills that are cardinal for providing quality children’s library services in public libraries.

In Zambia, each public library in now servicing an average of about 250 children per month. The trained librarians provide various quality library services and in addition conduct outreach programmes in their communities.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

ULIA holds second IAP workshop in Northern Uganda: Excitement hits Librarians in the Region

Group photo of some of the Participants
The Uganda Library and Information Association has taken IFLA’s International Advocacy Programmee (IAP) by storm. In less than a month, the professional library body in Uganda has twice made media captions through her IAP workshops. On the 24th to 26th July 2017, ULIA held its inaugural IFLA-IAP workshop at the Uganda Christian University, Mable, and Eastern Uganda. On the 7th to 9th August, 2017, ULIA shifted her IAP sensitization guns to Gulu, far north of the country.  

The workshop was officially opened by Hon. Ojara Mapenduzi- Gulu District LC 5 Chairperson. Honorable Mapenduzi was very pleased to learn that the library fraternity was ready to support the realization of the SDGs and the UN 2030 Agenda.  

He said: “The current global development framework focuses on inclusive philosophy whereby, no one, poor or rich, should be left behind. All the SDGs will require the use of information as key to the UN 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. I am happy Uganda Library and Information Association (ULIA) is making the case for why it is important for all libraries to be central to the UN Agenda and Development. Libraries should empower citizens with choice and control over the decisions that impact their lives, their communities and their nation”. 

The Honorable further promised to work with the librarians in the Northern Uganda to implement his manifesto. He was now aware that libraries had a role to play in the attainment of the UN 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. He was also now aware that the reading culture of his people was still very poor hence the need for an active public library and a vibrant ULIA to manage this challenge.

The local politician was happy to see, the son of the soil – Prof. Constant Okello-Obura, Principal, College of Computing & Information Sciences (CoCIS) and immediate past President of ULIA, talking about development strategies of Gulu district and the role libraries could play in the UN 2030 Agenda.

Dr. Raphael Aregu- University Librarian, Gulu University and Mr. David Tibemenya, Principal Administrator, Gulu Regional Referral Hospital jointly made the welcome remarks. Dr. Sarah Kaddu, the current President of ULIA gave the overview on the IAP workshop.
Principal, Gulu Regional Referral hospital 
addressing participants

Dr. Kaddu, who is also an IAP Trainer, imparted knowledge and skills to the participants on how they could develop library programmes and align them to the National Development Agenda, Vision 2040, the Cape Town Declaration 2015 (Agenda 2063), and the Lyon Declaration 2013. Kaddu put particular emphasis on Goal 16:10 which directly speaks to the libraries and access to information. She further emphasised working with decision and policy makers towards developing library programmes that are aligned with the current development agendas within Uganda.

Currently, Northern Uganda has got a total of 30 districts, making it one of the biggest provinces in Uganda. The region is well known for the infamous civil war led by Joseph Kony. The region suffered from civil unrest since the early 1980s and this lasted for over two decades. 

Hundreds of people were killed in the rebellion against the Ugandan government, and an estimated 1.4 million people were left homeless. The war not only displaced people but also utterly destroyed northern Uganda’s social services sector including agriculture, education, transport, health and the economic base.  Programs such IAP are seen as timely and God sent for the natives. They are geared towards restoring hope and parity in the region.

Speaking after the Workshop, Mr. Steven Okurut commented: “This is God sent. As a result of this workshop, I now know the role of my public library; I can now take the duty I had declined, to brief my Area MP and my Council about the role of Moroto public library. Certainly I shall request for his full support in mobilising resources for its development and my advocacy work begins next week.’

Ms. Shilla Adyero, a Community Librarian was all praises for the workshop because many of the participants heard of ULIA for the first time. Ms Adyero and her colleagues vowed to support the ULIA programs to advocate for the library programmes and the role of her community library in disseminating information for development thereby supporting the UNESCO Agenda, 2030. 

At the end of the workshop, participants had developed the draft Advocacy programmes that they would further share with the decision and policy makers. They were particularly very grateful that ULIA was rolling out the Advocacy workshop to ALL regions of Uganda and East Africa. To them, advocacy is not one of the courses the LIS schools have considered in their curricular yet very important. They promised to initiate change in their libraries and also partner with decision makers, community leaders, policy makers and all the people who may cause change in the library services sector.

During Group Discussions
The Northern and West Nile Region IAP workshop attracted thirty two (32) Participants who came from: Gulu Regional Referral hospital, Lira University, Lutino Adunu Nwoya community library, Gulu university library, Cavendish university Gulu, Arua public library, Nebbi Municipal Council, Paidha public , one public library, NTC Unyama, Gulu SOCO, Gulu public library, Nebbi public library, Moroto public library, Arua Public library and Gulu District Local Government. The workshop was closed by Dr. Pasca Apio. Dr. Apio said she was hearing about ULIA and SDGs for the first time.
The IAP guns will now shift to Western Uganda in October 2017.

Well-done IFLA and ULIA for informing the world. 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

SCECSAL member Associations to adopt amended constitution in 2018

The SCECSAL member Associations will in April 2018, in Entebbe, Uganda at the SCECSAL Business meeting, discuss and adopt the amended constitution of the organization.

Following a decision, at the XXIInd SCECSAL Conference in 2016 in Swaziland, to establish a permanent SCECSAL Secretariat and the acrimonious situation that arose during the process to appoint the host of the XXIIIrd SCECSAL conference in 2018, the member Associations resolved to emend the constitution to bring it in line with the new developments.
Representatives of SCECSAL member Associations
at the XXIInd SCECSAL Conference held in Ezulwini,
Swaziland in 2016 [Photo: Justin Chisenga]

The Associations specifically resolved “to review and amend the SCECSAL constitution to include terms of reference for the proposed Permanent Secretariat and other appropriate provisions to strengthen SCECSAL operations and monitoring mechanisms, and simplify the biding process for hosting SCECSAL”.

Since June 2016, the Presidents and Chairpersons of the SCECSAL member Associations have held five rounds of consultations on the proposed text to amend the constitution mainly through email communication and one Skype session.

The final draft of the amended constitution, to be discussed in April 2018 in Uganda, include new articles and clauses on:
  • Registering SCECSAL as a non-governmental organization in a SCECSAL member country;
  • Mandate and key functions of the SCECSAL Permanent Secretariat;
  • Establishing a SCECSAL Executive Board;
  • Sanctioning member Associations not meeting their constitutional obligations;
  • Formation of interest groups.

SCECSAL last amended its constitution in April 2000, in Namibia, when it replaced the document that was initially drafted in the 1970s.

Library and information professionals in the SCECSAL region can contribute to the SCECSAL constitution amendment process through their Associations from where they can also obtain copies of the draft document.

Several other documents to support the implementation of the amended constitution once it is adopted, are under development and they include SCECSAL bylaws, guidelines for selecting the host for the Permanent SCECSAL Secretariat and hosts for future SCECSAL conferences, and guidelines for the Author of the Year Award and the Best SCECSAL Conference Papers Award.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

ULIA conducts inaugural International Advocacy Program (IAP) workshop

The Uganda Library and Information Association (ULIA) has held its inaugural workshop for the International Federation of the Library and Information Institutions (IFLA)'s International Advocacy Programe (IAP) at the Uganda Christian University, in Mbale, from 24th to 26th July 2017.

The IAP is IFLA's a "new capacity-building programme designed to promote and support the role libraries can play in the planning and implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda and the SDGs".

The inaugural IAP workshop attracted fifty participants from: Kumi University, Mbale School of Hygiene, Uganda Technical College-Elgon, St. Aloysuis CPTC, Mbale SS, Pallisa Public Library, Kapyoyon High School, Busitema Uiversity, UCC-Soroti, IUIU Mbale, Wiggins Sec School, Masaba SS, UCU-Mbale, Soroti Public Library, Busia Public Library, Kamuli Public Library, Mbale Public Library, Nambi Sseppunya Community Resource Centre, Tororo Public Library, Busolwe Public Library, DWW Children Library and Resource Centre, UTC-Elgon, Uganda Christian University, MUC and Mbale District Local Government. 
Group photo of some of the participants
The workshop was officially opened by the Mbale LC5 Chairperson Mr. Mujasi.  The veteran politician emphasized the importance of identifying problems of the communities we are meant to serve and be able to provide adequate solutions to these problems.  His office pledged to support the advocacy activities from the librarians as well as supporting the development of the library sector within Mbale district. 

Dr. Steven Mungoma addressing participants
Dr. Steven Mungoma the Principal, Uganda Christian University Mbale Campus noted the importance of reading, the value of librarians and the librarians’ roles in changing the mind-sets and supporting the realization of the SDGs.

ULIA President Dr Sarah Kaddu was present and gave an overview of the inaugural IAP workshop. Dr.Kaddu said “We will ensure that the International Advocacy Programme gives the library sector the capacity to create and promote a favorable policy framework for valued library services to the community, establish and implement regional and national action agendas, and build advocacy skills in Uganda".

Sarah Kaddu, who also doubles as the IFLA IAP Trainer, spoke on advocacy and lobbying, the advocacy planning cycle, developing an advocacy plan to support the UN 2030 Agenda and identifying programmes to support SDGs among other issues.
Group discussion

The workshop was also attended by Ms. Gertrude Kayaga Mulindwa, the Africa Advocacy Chair who spoke on the UN 2030 Agenda, Uganda’s vision 2040 and the Development Agenda, and the role of Libraries in the UN 2030 Development Agenda.

The Overall Workshop Coordinator Ms. Winny Nekesa-Akullo said the workshop was very practical. Winny noted that at the end of the three days, participants had drafted their Advocacy plans to share with their institutions and policy makers.

The Eastern Region Workshop was well attended and supported by both the academics and political leaders in Mbale. The librarians promised to advocate for their library programmes and the UN 200 Agenda and the SDGs.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Library and information professionals in Africa discussing the SDGs

By Justin Chisenga

A scan of the themes of conferences being organized by library and information professionals in Africa reveals a focus on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and in some cases on the African Union Agenda 2063.

SDGs. [Source: Sustainable Development Knowledge
In May 2017, the theme of the African Library and Information Associations (AFLIA)’s conference in Yaonde, Cameroon was on “Libraries in the Development Agenda: Repositioning African Libraries to Deliver on the Future We Want”. The Zimbabwe Library Association’s (ZimLA) annual conference, in June 2017, focused on “Libraries in the National Development Agenda: Repositioning Libraries for Sustainable Development”, and in Zambia, the Library and Information Association of Zambia (LIAZ) annual conference in July 2017 was on the theme: “The Role of Information Institutions and Professionals in the Attainment of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals”.  The theme of the forthcoming XXIIIrd SCECSALConference, scheduled for April 2018 in Entebbe, Uganda is “Positioning Library and Information Services to Achieve Sustainable Development: Innovations and Partnerships” and that of the 4th IAALD Africa Conference, in May-June 2018, is “Agricultural Innovations, Information and Knowledge: Catalyzing the Attainment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the African Union Agenda 2063”.

It is almost two years since the World leaders adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, popularly referred to as the 2030 Agenda; its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as Global Goals; and the associated 169 targets spanning economic, environmental and social development. Since then, governments have been developing frameworks for multi-stakeholder dialogue to facilitate the integration of the SDGs into their national and sub-national development plans. Development organizations, civil society organizations, and even some organizations in the private sector, have also been aligning and mainstreaming the SDGs into their development policies, strategies and initiatives. Therefore, it is good news to see that library and information professionals in Africa are discussing SDGs and possibly developing strategies to contribute to the 2030 Agenda.

Mr. Mark Maseko, National Information Officer from
the United Nations  Information Centre (UNIC), Zambia
  guiding the discussions on  SDGs by librarians at the
LIAZ 2017 Conference [Photo: Justin Chisenga]
The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) took part in the pre- 2030 Agenda consultations and contributed to the process in several ways, including “advocating for the inclusion of access to information, safeguarding of cultural heritage, universal literacy, and access to information and communication technologies (ICT)” in the 2030 Agenda. IFLA also encouraged librarians and library associations to actively participate in the 2030 Agenda process, conducted capacity development activities targeting library and information professionals, and developed a toolkit, all with the aim of helping information professionals and their institutions to advocate for and show that they can drive progress across the entire 2030 Agenda.

IFLA also provided concrete evidence to show that information institutions, such as libraries, information centres, documentation centres and information professional associations, have a role to play in attaining the 2030 Agenda. This is documented in the booklet on Access and Opportunity for All: How Libraries Contribute to the United Nations 2030 Agenda. The booklet highlights several examples from around the world showing how libraries and access to information contribute to improved outcomes across the 17 SDGs.

The current focus and discussions of the SDGs by library and information professionals in Africa is most welcome and should be encouraged. To effectively and efficiently contribute to the attainment of the 2030 Agenda, they should:

  1. Know the 2030 Agenda, its 17 SDGs, the 169 targets and the associated 232 individual indicators otherwise it will be difficult to directly and meaningfully contribute to the Agenda. Official documentation on the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs is available on the United Nations Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform and the Sustainable Development Goal indicators website.
  2. Know their national governments’ development priorities and commitments to implement the 2030 Agenda. The “primary responsible for achieving the SDGs are the governments and the people they represent”. Therefore, contributing to attaining the SDGs, whether by organizations or groups of individuals, should not be done in insolation of the national development efforts. Working with national governments and national partners is key and one surest way to meaningfully contribute directly to attaining the 2030 Agenda. Getting to know the country’s development priorities and commitments to the 2030 Agenda is among the first steps towards contributing to the national development goals and ultimately to the 2030 Agenda.
  3. Define the responses to the 2030 Agenda and SDGs and document priorities, strategies and activities in the context of contributing to the national government’s efforts. All efforts and contributions to attaining the SDGs should be aligned to the priorities of the national government. Therefore, library and information institutions and professionals should have a written document articulating their strategies and monitoring mechanism for their planned efforts or contributions. Without any monitoring, it will be difficult to show evidence of any contributions to the national development agendas and the 2030 Agenda.

IFLA has already shown that library and Information institutions and professionals have a role to play in attaining the Sustainable Development Goals. However, their contributions should be within the framework of national development agendas and priorities, which in most cases are aligned with the 2030 Agenda and its 17 SDGs. Information institutions should define the services and products to be provided and establish strategic partnerships that will contribute to the three dimensions of sustainable development - economic, social and environmental.

AFLIA and SCECSAL, the two largest groupings of library and information professionals in Africa, should ensure that the outcomes of the various on-going discussions of the SDGs by library and information professionals in African sare widely shared and published online for easy access.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Dr. Charles Banda elected LIAZ president for 2017-2019 term of office

Dr. Charles Banda delivering  his acceptance statement
Dr. Charles Banda was on Friday declared elected unopposed to the post of President of the Library and Information Association of Zambia (LIAZ) and will serve a two-year (2017-2019) term of office.

“I thank all of you for electing us into office and I promise that we are going to deliver. LIAZ has six strategic goals and we will ensure that we work towards attaining them”, Dr. Banda said in his acceptance statement.

Dr. Banda holds a PhD and Masters degrees in Library and Information Studies from the University of Botswana and a Bachelor of Arts (Library and Information Science) from the University of Zambia.

The new President takes over from Ms. Velenasi Mwale Munsanje who served two consecutive terms as LIAZ President.

The in-coming LIAZ National Executive Committee for 2017 - 2019 is composed of the following individuals:
  • President: Charles Banda, PhD (from the Coppebelt University)
  • Vice President: Mr. Jabulani Moyo (Roads Development Agency)
  • Secretary General: Ms. Mwanza Aggie (National Assembly of Zambia)
  • Immediate past President:  Ms. Velenasi Mwale Munsanje (to serve for one year)
  • Treasurer: Mr. Leslie Moono Chikuta (National Assembly of Zambia)
  • Editor: Mr. Raymond Sikanyika (Copperbelt University)
  • Information and Publicity Secretary: Ms. Constance Muyoba (Zambia Library Service, Solwezi)
  • Membership Secretary: Mr. Allan Hagwelele Mudenda (Zambia Library Service, Choma)
  • Committee Member: Mr. Casious Makalashi (Zambia Public Procurement Authority)
  • Committee Member: Mr. McDonald Mwiinga (National Assembly of Zambia)
The posts of Projects Coordinator and Vice Treasurer had no contestants and remain vacant.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Librarians and records managers in Zambia take part in IFLA Global Vision discussions

Group discussion on IFLA Global Vision
[Photo: Justin Chisenga]
Participants at the 2017 Library and Information Association of Zambia (LIAZ) Annual Conference in Siavonga, today took part in the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) Global Vision discussions.

The participants, mainly librarians and records managers from academic libraries, public libraries, special libraries and archives, worked in groups and discussed  how a united library field can meet the challenges of the future.

The discussions, based on the guidelines provided by IFLA, focused on library values and strengths, challenges facing society, libraries and the profession, and potential solutions as part of the process to develop a global vision for a united library field.

A report of the discussions will be prepared and submitted to IFLA as a contribution from the library community in Zambia.

IFLA’s Global Vision discussions were launched on 4 April 2017 in Athens, Greece, under the theme: “Together We Create the Future”. The library community worldwide is being encouraged to participate in the discussions through self-organized workshops and online voting to be launched in August 2017.

Ms. Velenasi Mwale Munsanje, LIAZ President; Dr. Vitalicy Chifwepa and Dr. Justin Chisenga, co-facilitated the discussions.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Library and information professionals in Zambia reminded of the importance of libraries in sustainable development

Ms. Velenasi Mwale Munsanje, LIAZ President (L)
and Dr. Auxilia Ponga, Permanent Secretary (R)
[Photo: Justin Chisenga] 
The Minister of National Development and Planning in Zambia, Honourable Lucky Mulusa, has reminder library and information professionals in Zambia on the importance of libraries and information in sustainable development.
In a statement at the opening session of the 2017 Library and Information Association of Zambia (LIAZ) Annual Conference in Siavonga, read on his behalf by Dr. Auxilia Ponga, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Hon. Mulusa urged participants to seriously review the way libraries and other related institutions in the country are managing the information to effectively contribute sustainable development.

“The Government recognises that to deliver inclusive and equitable development to its citizens who are at the core of sustainable development, it requires concerted efforts and commitment of all stakeholders, including libraries. In order to attain its aspirations for sustainable development, Zambia needs services of up-to-date and well-coordinated libraries to make sound and informed decisions. This implies that there is need for ready access to well-packaged information for individuals, institutions and communities. This would lead to empowered and resilient citizens and consequently attainment of sustainable development”, Hon. Mulusa said.

Hon. Mulusa also urged library and information professionals to take advantage of technological advancement to modernise the libraries and the provision of information services.

“As a country that pursues smart technologies, it is imperative that libraries should no longer only be accessed physically, but they should allow for a readership that access libraries online through computers and other devices such as phones”,  Hon. Mulusa added.

In her statement, Ms. Velenasi Mwale Munsanje, LIAZ President, assured the Minister’s representative of LIAZ’s support to the government’s development aganda.

Group  photo of participants at the 2017 LIAZ
Annual Conference
“We are looking at what our institutions and us, the information professionals, can do to help the government attain the SDGs. We are the right profession to help you achieve the development goals of Zambia”,  Ms. Munsanje said.

In a vote of thanks, Mr. Hephias Hamakanda, a former librarian with the Zambia Library Service and now a farmer, expressed regret at the absence of a library policy and relevant legislation in the country. He asked the government, through Dr. Ponga, to address the issue of a library policy that was initiated in the late 1970’s by the library and information professionals in the country.

The 2017 LIAZ Annual Conference, on the theme: “The Role of Information Institutions and Professionals in the Attainment of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals”, runs from 18 July to 21 July 2017.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

LIAZ members get acquainted with advocating for the SDGs

Part of the workshop participants during group work
[Photo: Justin Chisenga]
More than 100 members of the Library and Information Association of Zambia (LIAZ) on 18 July 2017 attended a one-day workshop on advocating for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Siavonga, in the Southern Province of the country.

 “As information professionals, we need to fully understand what the SDGs are if we are to meaningfully contribute to the attainment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”,  Ms. Velenasi Mwale Munsanje, LIAZ President, said in her welcome statement.

The practical workshop held at the Lake Safari Lodge, on the shores of the Lake Kariba, covered the following topics: introduction to the SDGs, library advocacy and the SDGs, identification of targets for advocacy initiatives, selecting an advocacy issue, developing messages, developing an advocacy strategy matrix, and monitoring and evaluation of advocacy initiatives, among others.

The participants worked in groups and developed sample advocacy plans based on the SDGs of their choice and shared their work in the plenary session.

Mr. Mark Maseko, National Information Officer from the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), Zambia, and Mr. Charles Nonde, Librarian at UNIC, co-facilitated the workshop.

The workshop was held part of LIAZ’s 2017 Annual General Conference taking place from 18 July to 21 July 2017, on the theme: “The Role of Information Institutions and Professionals in the Attainment of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals”.

ZimLA poised for growth

By Kenneth Mangemba

The Zimbabwe Library Association (ZimLA) is poised for growth following increased strategies for stakeholder engagement. This was narrated by ZimLA president, Mr. Lantern Fusire at the 51th ZimLA Conference and Annual General Meeting (AGM) held at the Fairmile Regency Hotel in Gweru from July 4 – 7, 2017.

ZimLA president, Mr. Lantern Fusire (standing) at the Conference.
The conference held under the theme Libraries in the National Development Agenda: Repositioning libraries for sustainable development was attended by many information professionals from Botswana, South Africa and Zambia.

Presenting his annual report, the ZimLA president outlined the various stakeholder engagements that the association accomplished. He attributed the success of the engagement to teamwork, regional and international libraries bodies support. Last year the association representatives and AfLIA president, Mr. John Tsebe managed to engage with the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education to discuss various issues surrounding library development in Zimbabwe.

Several other initiatives were undertaken including the recent call to the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education Permanent Secretary, Dr. Utete-Masango to discuss the role of library association in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Mr. Fusire highlighted on the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) International Advocacy Programme (IAP) Africa workshop held in Pretoria, South Africa which he attended with Ms. Tinashe Kuzuwazuwa and Ms. Kathy Matsika that discussed advocacy plans on national development plans, African Union plans and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). According to the IFLA website, the IFLA-IAP is a new capacity-building programme designed to promote and support the role libraries can play in the planning and implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.

The president however bemoaned the low membership that is a cause for concern for the library association. “We have so many opportunities from AfLIA and IFLA that require members to participant in the programmes, we failed to nominate enough participants for the AfLIA INELI initiatives as we do not have a sound public library interest group that can assist Branch Chairs to identify active members to take part in such programmes”, said the ZimLA president. “Our thrust for the coming year which is an elective year is to increase membership by a wide margin so that we can run a successful election supported by ZimLA members”, he said.

ZimLA president stated that, “A strong membership is the backbone of any library association and the vitality of the membership is a stepping stone for growth.” He urged information professionals in Zimbabwe to understand the library association’s membership dynamics instead of openly criticizing the leadership without openly contributing to the growth of the association.

He concluded that there is need to amend the current constitution and the exercise should start soon so that it’s completed by March 2018. The new constitution should be launched at the 52nd ZimLA Conference. The ZimLA president indicated that further work need to be done on the strategic plan and a new plan should be ready by 2018. 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Zimbabwe finest LIS professionals elected to AfLIA Sections positions

By Kenneth Mangemba

Zimbabwe’s celebrated library and Information science educationist, Mr. Collence Takainganhamo Chisita was elected to the position of Secretary of the Library and Information Science (LIS) Education and Training Institutions Section (LIT) of African Library and Information Associations and Institutions (AfLIA) for the 2017 – 2019 term at the second AfLIA Conference held in Yaoundé, Cameroon in May.
Mr. Chisita with other LIS professional at the AfLIA Conference.
Mr. Chisita joins Mr. Jasper Maenzanise who was elected to Chair the Library Consortia Section for the 2017 – 2019 term. Mr. Maenzanise is the University Librarian at the Harare Institute of Technology (HIT) and is also the deputy board member for the Zimbabwe International Book Fair Association (ZIBFA).
Chisita is a Principal Lecturer and Researcher at the Harare Polytechnic School of Library and Information Science. 
According to the AfLIA website, “AfLIA is an independent international not-for-profit organization which pursues the interests of library and information associations, library and information services, librarians and information workers and the communities they serve in Africa. It was established in 2013 and registered as an international non-governmental organisation (NGO) under the laws of Ghana in October 2014.” It is committed to connecting Africa’s library and information communities.
Chisita will be working directly with the Chair of the LIS Education and Training Institutions Section, Dr. Bernard Dione of Senegal.
The election of Mr. Chisita and Mr. Maenzanise into AfLIA sections is a great opportunity for Zimbabwe to contribute towards supporting Africa to achieve quality education in LIS sector.
The second AfLIA Conference was held under the theme “Libraries in the Development Agenda: Repositioning African Libraries to deliver on the Future We Want” and was attended by many information professionals from Zimbabwe.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Library Associations should embrace IFLA/AfLIA programmes

By Kenneth Mangemba

Library associations should embrace and adopt International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) and African Library and Information Association and Institution (AfLIA) initiated programmes to enable them to increase visibility, stakeholder engagement, and to lobby and advocate for the recognition of libraries in advancing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This was said by Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA) president and AfLIA vice president, Mr. Mandla Ntombela at the just ended Zimbabwe Library Association (ZimLA) conference held in Gweru.

LIASA president and AfLIA vice president, Mr. Mandla Ntombela at the just ended ZimLA conference held in Gweru
Addressing delegates at the conference, Mr. Ntombela spoke extensively of the IFLA Global Vision as a credible and rare opportunity that facilitates capacity building for the development and sustainability of the library communities.

The role of library associations is vital towards achieving the IFLA Global Vision and concerted efforts by associations’ leadership should prioritize embracing and implementing the initiatives that has long lasting benefit.  The LIASA president said that such initiatives are essential to advance advocacy and lobbying efforts for the library communities for recognition and improving influence in solving community challenges.

AfLIA partnered with the Global Libraries (GL) Programme of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to roll out the International Network of Emerging Library Innovators (INELI) programme established to support the transformation of public libraries into engines of development and does this by supporting upcoming public librarians to develop innovative services for the benefit of their communities. Participants in the INELI initiative are expected to share the learning experience with other local librarians with the view of promoting learning and equip others with life changing skills to transform the public library network to step-up to the changing operating environment. Mrs. A. Madziwa from the Bulawayo Municipality Library system is a participant to the INELI initiative from Zimbabwe.

Participants who attended the 51th ZimLA Conference in Gweru.
The Library and Information Association of Zambia president, Mrs. Velenasi Mwale Munsanje also spoke greatly of the INELI programme as an enabler that facilitate growth for the public library system through strengthening skills of local public librarians to better serve their communities under strenuous conditions characterized by limited funding and sound infrastructure.

Mr. Ntombela said that partnership with IFLA and AfLIA reposition the library association to achieve the “Africa we want”. The major thrust emphasized by Mr. Ntombela is that IFLA’s professional programmes provide sustainable platforms for initating advocacy for libraries in society, improve services for library users, provide equitable access to information and develop the library and information profession.

In light of attaining SDGs, Mr. Ntombela said that libraries are vital institutions that should actively promote the National development plans through dynamic services that transform livelihood. He therefore gave an interesting story of Jaka Joe Informal Settlement in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa that is involved in the recycling project and challenged other library communities to formulate strategies with SDGs attainment in mind.

“Library associations have a significant role to play in strengthening partnerships with IFLA and AfLIA through developing an effective action plan for strategic positioning on government agenda”, said the AfLIA vice president. He encouraged the library associations to increase lobbying and advocacy initiatives for the development of library and information services infrastructure to achieve a positive influence from government policy regarding LIS. “Library associations should represent libraries and librarianship to the larger society and continual stakeholder engagement should be a top priority that leads to the identifying of sources of local funding for projects”, he said.

The LIASA president implored with library association leaders to be proactive in increasing influence. He said, “Library associations and institutions should enlarge their territory or mission by protecting the future of LIS workers and library users of Africa and throughout the world by developing strategies that will make the sector looks smart and cool.”

The conference keynote address by AfLIA vice president and LIASA president clearly pronounced the role of library associations in developing strong and strategic partnerships that promote influence of the library communities. Several library associations were represented at the conference with representation from Botswana, South Africa and Zambia.

The conference ended on a high note with a report from ZimLA president, Mr. Lantern Fusire highlighting on key achievements accomplished and laying out the various initiatives that the association has planned for the coming year before an elective conference in 2018.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

LIAZ President challenges Zimbabwean library community to contribute to SDGs


The president of the Library and Information Association of Zambia (LIAZ), Mrs. Velenasi Mwale Munsanje has challenged Zimbabwean library community to devise strategies that would enable librarians to contribute towards achieving the United Nations developed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

LIAZ Preisdent, Mrs. Velenasi Mwale Munsanje
delivering her keynote address (standing),
Session Chair, Mr. Sauel Chabikwa (middle) and
 ZimLA Vice Rresident, Mr. Shadreck Ndinde (left).
[Photo: Kenneth Mangemba]
Delivering her keynote address at the 51th Zimbabwe Library Association (ZimLA) Conference in Gweru, she said that Libraries are considered as third place, coming after homes and the workplace. “Libraries are seen as third places as people see homes as first place with the workplace coming second and if we do not devise activities that change lives libraries will lose customer base, therefore we should provide services that change lives”, she said.

“IFLA has developed advocacy toolkits to assist library associations to spearhead and engage with stakeholders on the role of libraries towards achieving SDGs”, said Mrs. Munsanje.

She said that libraries make an important contribution towards achieving SDGs, emphasizing that the local library community should devise strategies to sensitize communities on SDGs. The involvement of libraries in SDGs is an opportunity for the information institutions to remain relevant.

The keynote presentation encouraged librarians to leverage on the discourse surrounding SDGs to influence stakeholders on the value of libraries. Mrs. Munsanje noted that coordinated efforts to inform stakeholders with proper statistics that reveal the impact of libraries on citizens with regard to SDGs are necessary for the world to note the significance of library institution.

LIAZ president emphasized that the library community should move beyond building collections to formulate services that significantly impact communities they serve, for instance through advancing digital inclusion through access to ICTs and dedicate staff to help people develop new digital skills.

The 51th ZimLA conference has provided an opportunity for the information professionals to reflect on the role of libraries in advancing SGDs. The role of IFLA as an international body in providing strategic direction towards engaging stakeholders in realizing the impact of libraries is fundamental to realize the role of libraries in achieving SGDs.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

NIWA confirms hosting SCECSAL XXIV in 2020

The City of Windhoek is set to host SCECSAL XXIV in 2020.
[Photo: Justin Chisenga]
The Namibia Information Workers Association (NIWA) has confirmed that it will go ahead and organize the SCECSAL XXIV conference in 2020. According to Dr. Chiku Mnubi Mchombu, NIWA Vice Chairperson, the decision to go ahead with the conference was taken at the organization’s Executive Committee meeting on 23 May 2017; and endorsed by NIWA General Meeting on 20 June 2017.

NIWA was awarded the right to host the 2020 SCECSAL conference on 29 April 2016 in Swaziland at the conclusion of the SCECSAL XXII conference organized by the Swaziland Library Association (SWALA).

This will be the second time NIWA will host the SCECSAL conference. The organization first hosted the SCECSAL conference in 2000 on theme “Information 2000: a Vision for the SCECSAL region”.

SCECSAL XIV, held in Windhoek from 10-15 April 2000, introduced the practice of distributing books containing SCECSAL conference papers to participants at registration, a practice that since then has been adopted at all SCECSAL conferences except in 2014 when the Malawi Library Association failed to do so and distributed the publications almost a year later in 2015.

The SCECSAL XXIV Local Organizing Committee will be chaired by Dr. Chiku Mnubi Mchombu. She informed SCECSAL Forum that more information on the arrangements for the conference will be made available in due course.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

SCECSAL social reporters wanted!

Are you in the library, information and knowledge profession? Are you a resident in one of the SCECSAL region countries? Are you a member of your national library and information Association? Are you interested in writing contributions/stories about the happenings in the library and information service (LIS) sector in your country for the SCECSAL Forum?

If your answer is YES to all the questions, send Justin Chisenga [] a short email to express your interest.

The SCECSAL Forum is the official blog of the Standing Conference of Eastern, Central and Southern African Library and Information Associations.  Stories published on the Forum are written by volunteer SCECSAL Social Reporters.

Monday, June 12, 2017

e-forum discussion on ICTs and Open Data in Agriculture and Nutrition

The e-Agriculture Community of Practice, in conjunction with partners, are glad to announce the upcoming online discussion themed, “e-forum discussion on ICTs and Open Data in Agriculture and Nutrition”. 

This online debate will explore the cross roads between ICTs and issues around opening data in Agriculture and Nutrition and its effective use, with a focus on establishing what benefits and possible losses, can accrue to farmers, if technology and open data are used conjunctively.

We would like to get your feedback on what you think on the following topics:-

  • The role ICTs play in the use of Open Data in Agriculture and Nutrition for family farmers
  • Do you have any case studies that demonstrates the benefits (or damages) of the use of ICTs and Open Data?
  • What investments are needed in your opinion to reap open data benefits and how can farmers be protected from the effects of open data?

Information on participation

This online forum will take place from 19th of June to the 14th of July 2017 on the e-Agriculture Platform  

·         In order to participate or comment you will have to register ( ) and login at the time of the forum.

·         The discussion will be guided by pre-selected subject matter experts from different organizations and is facilitated by a team representing GODAN, CTA and FAO.

·         The forum can be accessed through the following link:  (Questions will only be activated during the forum)

For any further information please contact us at