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  http://www.ahila.org/index.php

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: lisc@uct.ac.za 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. 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Follow @SCECSAL for news and updates from the SCECSAL region

If your want to be up to date with the happenings in the library and information services (LIS) field in the  Standing Conference of Eastern, Central and Southern African Library and Information Associations (SCECSAL) region, then follow us on our twitter account at @SCECSAL (https://twitter.com/SCECSAL).

@SCECSAL will be one of the major outlets for announcements and news items about the XXIIIrd SCECSAL to be held in 2018 in Uganda.  So join the community and be up to date with the event. Use the #SCECSAL to associate your LIS event with SCECSAL.

The SCECSAL region covers Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Congo Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Join IAALD Africa Chapter

If your work involves generating or managing or disseminating food, agriculture and rural development information; or your have a strong interest in agricultural information and knowledge management in Africa, then consider joining the Africa Chapter of the International Association of Agricultural Information Specialists (IAALD).

For a limited time IAALD Africa is offering FREE membership to AFRICAN Agricultural Information Specialists who want to join the Chapter.

Please confirm your interest by 20th of May 2016 to mercy@itoca.org and myrtle@itoca.org.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Workshop on managing and publishing your scholarly journal online using Open Journal Systems (OJS)

The scholarly publishing arena has been influenced by the Internet and specifically the World Wide Web (WWW) in many ways. Online journal management offers many benefits, including higher dissemination, increased access, reach, and visibility, leading to higher impact of individual research articles published. Journals all over the world are more and more joining hands with IT, Research and Library Divisions on campus to start hosting their own, instead of making use of sometimes very expensive publishers.

The Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), in collaboration with higher education and research institutions in the Eastern Cape (LIASA Eastern Cape Branch/SEALS), would like to invite all editors, journal managers, librarians and other role players in the scholarly publishing process to a one day workshop on managing and publishing a scholarly journal in the online environment, using Open Journal Systems. The following will also be addressed: workflow, unique identifiers, metadata, roles & responsibilities and criteria for a high quality open access journal, in line with the Department of Higher Education and Training policy for research output and criteria for accreditation. 

Workshop Details

Date: Friday 27 May 2016, 09:00 - 16:00
Venue: Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (details to follow once registered)
Costs: R 150.00 (you will receive an invoice following registration, with banking details for payment) 
Facilitator: Ina Smith, Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf)
Please register: Click here to register online. Please register by 20 May 2016.

Looking very much forward meeting you at the workshop! Please share with journal editors and journal managers*

Linda Ntaka
PRO: LIASA Eastern Cape Branch (2014 – 2016)
Tel.: +27(0) 46 603 7338 
Email: l.ntaka@ru.ac.za

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Bravo SWALA for organizing such a wonderful showpiece – SCECSAL 2016!

By Erick Nelson Haumba
Kampala, Uganda

If anything has to be discussed about SCECSAL 2016, it has to be my personal experience and feel of the just concluded conference in eZulwini, Swaziland, held from 25 to 29 April. Under the theme “Digital transformation and the changing role of libraries and information centre’s in the sustainable development of Africa”, the Sub-Saharan region and the African continent as a whole experienced one of the best library and information service (LIS) fraternity showpieces of all times.

Eric Nelson Haumba presenting a paper at SCECSAL 2016
The approach and focus during the conference days was broad, enriching and focused on the changing role of libraries in the sustainable development of our continent which was spot-on with our expectations. In the academic setting, it’s extremely hard to disagree that the quality of the papers and conference proceedings was tremendously high. You could not hear of any corridor talk expressing any sort of dissatisfaction. Thanks to the efforts of the editorial team and international review committee.

As an upcoming professional, my goal is to always attend a conference where I simply have to learn from. I always want to be a sponge and soak up as much information as I possibly can. And SCECSAL 2016 Conference offered me more than that. From the keynote speakers to the invited guests who opened the conference, a lot was leant from them.  After attending a few sessions, it was rock clear to me that I wasn’t going to disappoint myself. I could sometimes pick the sessions to attend either based on the topic or based on who was actually presenting. This gave me an opportunity to hang back after the session was over and have a conversation with the presenters and fellow attendees who were really smart people.

It was an interesting moment to meet with the continent’s best, the stalwarts and peers from the profession. That was my time to take advantage of their knowledge.  I took notes and soaked it all in. About the culture of the people, it’s another matter that needs to be mentioned. From the hosts to all the countries represented, it was amazing to witness the cultural diversities at the cultural dinner. The warmth and hospitality of the people of Swaziland was beyond imagination. The performances were superlative, from the delegates as well as the invited performers. I could hardly see any member of the SWALA team wearing out. Even after the tiresome seven days, John Paul Anbu and his team were looking fresh, robust and full of smiles. I commend you for that.

The best part of attending conferences is establishing friendships and connections with other
Traditional dancers at the Cultural Evening
conference attendees – many of them our fellow peers from across the world. Not only did I have the opportunity to learn from experts at the conference, I also made connections with them and synergized with other conference delegates. The conference presented numerous opportunities to mingle with conference speakers, panelists, delegates and corporate sponsors. I could feel it as many of them were more than happy to stay connected with us during and after the conference.

As you may have noted, there are many advantages to attending conferences but my experience at SCECSAL 2016 only solidifies for me that attending conferences can make you a better person from either the knowledge you learn, the connections you make, or all of the above! To all the delegates, just take a minute to commend SWALA and LOC for the immaculate work by commenting on this blog.

From me, Bravo SWALA for organizing such a wonderful showpiece! Long Live SCECSAL. We welcome you to Uganda in 2018.

For God and My Country