IFLANET home - International Federation of Library Associations and InstitutionsAnnual ConferenceSearchContacts

61st IFLA General Conference - Conference Proceedings - August 20-25, 1995

Section on Regional Activities: Africa

Annual Report 1994

H.K. Raseroka
University Library of Botswana
Private Bag 0022
Fax: (267) 356591
is Chair of the Regional Section for Africa.

Stanley M. Made

University of Zimbabwe
is Secretary.

Standing Committee and Section Membership

The Standing Committee has nine members from nine countries, two corresponding members, and one special advisor. Henri Sene, Director of the Regional Office in Dakar is an ex-officio member. There ar e 90 IFLA members registered for the Section.

Regional Office

The Regional Office, directed by Henri Sene with the assistance of Antoinette Correa, both from the Bibliothèque universitaire, Dakar, carried out the following activities:

Projects and Meetings

Workshop on Microcomputer Applications

The Section, in collaboration with the ALP Core Programme, organized the 3rd Workshop on Microcomputer Applications in Libraries, held in Rabat, in January 1994. The workshop was attended by 35 manag ers of national and university libraries from Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo. The National Library of Abijdan hosted the workshop. The main o bjectives of the workshop were to enhance the knowledge of participants in interlibrary loan and document supply; and to improve their experience in the use of information technologies.

Workshop on UAP

A workshop on Universal Availability of Publications for West African Francophone Countries was held in Abidjan, 11-13 July 1994 at the National Library. The workshop was organized by the Regional Of fice and the UAP Core Programme.

Pan-African Seminar

A Pan-African Seminar on Provision of Information to Rural Communities was held on 20-25 June for participants from all of Africa. Sixty participants from 14 countries in Africa and six participants from other parts of the world attended. The main aims of the seminar were to bring together and document African experience and practice in provision of information to rural communities and to find i ndicators of success or failure in rural information provision through sharing of experiences in the various African countries. Papers that were presented centred around the main themes: ongoing expe riments; case studies by country; training of information workers; and methods of research and evaluation. Ongoing experiments were presented at the regional level: francophone West Africa; anglophon e West Africa; and those developed in Southern Africa and Eastern Africa. Case studies were presented from seven African countries selected for the quality of their services in the field of informati on provision for rural areas. Under the topic on the training of information providers in rural areas, the papers stressed that in formal library and information sciences institutions, there was litt le concern for information in rural areas. Papers on the methods of research and evaluation pointed out that although many pilot projects had been carried out, little appraisal was done. The proceedi ngs of the workshop will be published by IFLA. It is also expected that a directory of African institutions involved in the provision of information in rural areas will be compiled.

Bilingual African Journal

A sub-committee under the chairmanship of A.O. Banjo (Nigeria) is responsible for this project.

Uppsala Meeting

The officers of the Section attended a meeting of the Coordinating Board held in Uppsala, Sweden, 5-8 April 1994. The meeting was extremely useful in providing time for sharing of ideas as well as in teraction as Division VIII. It laid a foundation for joint meetings and projects as well as a transfer of knowledge gained through successful projects in the individual regions.

Tracer Study of IFLA Pre-Sessions

The Section is involved in a Division study to determine how pre-session attendees have benefitted and whether pre-sessions should be continued. Regional Office Managers will compile an historical st udy of pre-session seminars in each Section. The Chairs and Secretaries will design the questionnaire and cooperate with Estella Morales (Mexico) for database design.

Future Conferences

Istanbul 1995

The Regional Section will cooperate with the Section on Library Services to Multicultural Populations on a joint meeting on "Availability of Library Materials in African Languages". It will contribut e to a Divisional session on "Enhancement of the Library Profession".

Havana Meetings

Professional Board

The Regional Coordinating Board (consisting of the Chairs, Secretaries and Regional Managers of the three Sections) was invited to attend the second meeting of the Professional Board. This was a welc ome first, as in the past only the Chair of the Coordinating Board, who is a member of the PB, attended the meeting.

Third World Caucus

A caucus meeting in which all Third World IFLA members participated was held. It had been hoped that Africa would field a candidate to stand for the Executive Board, but this attempt has failed. It i s now essential for all SC members to encourage IFLA members in their sub-region to pay their dues to ensure that they may vote in support of Third World country candidates. The Third World caucus wi ll be scheduled for all future IFLA Conferences.

Open Session

The Section co-sponsored an open session with the Section on Libraries Serving Multicultural Populations. The theme of the meeting was "Library Materials in the Threatened Languages of Africa".


The Section also co-sponsored a workshop with the Section on University Libraries and other General Research Libraries on the theme "Collection Development Needs in the Third World".