REPORT OF 1st MEETING OF THE SUB-COMMITTEE ON KNOWLEDGE, LIBRARIES AND INFORMATION SERVICES FOR DEVELOPMENT (CODI-KLIS) OF THE COMMITTEE ON DEVELOPMENT INFORMATION (CODI) Held at UNECA, Addis Ababa 1-3 May 2007 by Helena Asamoah- Hassan (Ghana), 1st Vice Chairperson of CODI-KLIS
INTRODUCTION • 1st (first) Meeting of CODI-KLIS was held in Addis Ababa from 1 – 3 May, 2007. • Meeting was opened by South Africa, the Chair of the Working Group that recommended the creation of CODI-KLIS at CODI IV in 2005. • Director of ISTD of ECA Ms. Aida OpokuMensah addressed participants and assured them of ECA’s commitment to work for the continued existence of CODI-KLIS. • KLIS Secretariat presented reports on activities since CODI IV including its outcomes, impact and plans for the future. Reports were discussed and adopted.
ATTENDANCE & ELECTIONS • 120 participants including delegates from 23 ECA Member States, Africa Union, NGOs, African National Institutions and Civil Society. • Chairperson - Botswana • 1st Vice-Chair - Ghana • 2nd Vice-Chair - Sudan • 1stRapporteur - Democratic Republic of Congo • 2ndRapporteur - Tanzania
POLICY ISSUES AND ACTION PLAN 2007-2009 KLIS decided to focus on activities to support the availability of development information in Africa. • Action Plan towards the development of strategies and activities in Member States was put in place under the following 4 areas: • Creation and strengthening of national and public libraries, information services and networks that are critical links in the knowledge economy Had 5 specific actions geared towards the creation and funding of National and Public Libraries to play effective roles in the knowledge economy
POLICY ISSUES AND ACTION PLAN 2007-2009 • Collaboration with National Libraries in Member States to carry out studies on the state of the Public Libraries in-country . Had 3 actions geared towards the development and dissemination of local content. • Develop digital libraries and information services to enhance efficiency in access to information, knowledge and economic opportunities Had 4 actions geared towards establishing IRs, building human capital to develop and use digital resources and having facilities to provide access to digital resources.
POLICY ISSUES AND ACTION PLAN 2007-2009 • Collaboration with stakeholders to disseminate development information to everyone including the grassroots Had 5 actions to train information workers to provide, repackage relevant development information to the grassroots; support establishment of communication networks with all stakeholders and collaborate with Universities in member states to set up mechanisms for the use of their resources by all persons, including people from the grassroots.
WORKSHOP HELD • A Regional Workshop on Information and Knowledge Management for Development & Sub-Saharan Africa Colloquium on Information Literacy and Life-long Learning for meeting the MDGs was held from 29th -30th April, 2007.
REPOSITIONING KLIS IN ECA-History • The Committee of Experts of the Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development recommended in March 2007 under the heading CODIST that members of CODIST will include experts in ICT, Geo-Information Systems, Libraries and Science and Technology to assist the work of Sub- Programme 4 and that KLIS will address issues related to Knowledge and Information Services. • ECA’s in its publication ‘The Value of Library Services in Development’ recognizes the value of Libraries. • At the Opening of CODI V on 1st May 2007 the Executive Secretary of ECA’s address decried the inability of several Libraries on the continent to support the availability of development information.
REPOSITIONING KLIS IN ECA • The terms of reference of KLIS Sub-Committee as stated in the Report of the 4th Meeting of CODI dated 28th April 2005 stated that CODI-KLIS was to: - Propose regional and sub-regional policy directions in the field of Libraries and Information Services. - Assist Member States to identify national objectives and evaluate the progress at the national level in the field of Libraries and Information Services.
REPOSITIONING KLIS IN ECA • LIS professionals at the meeting hailed the creation of the KLIS as Sub-Committee to CODI, to be on its own rather than under the ICT Sub-Committee. • Emphasis was given that there was no framework for Library and Information Services to develop from 1999 (CODI–I) through 2005 (CODI V) so any attempt to re-integrate KLIS into the ICT - Sub – Committee will be a non-starter especially as KLIS under CODIST had just been inaugurated. • The meeting observed that KLIS will play a strategic role in ECA’s mandate of harnessing and disseminating information for development so it should continue to exist as a distinct sub-committee of CODIST with the Terms of Reference as follows:
KLIS – WIDER TERMS OF REFERENCE • Examine and review progress made by Member States in the area of KLIS. • Raise awareness of the value of Libraries, Knowledge and Information in economic growth and human development. • Promote knowledge systems development in Member States. • Identify and raise awareness about issues in information and knowledge policies and also in institutions • Assist in capacity building in the development of KLIS – related systems and services. • Review proven technical innovation in global knowledge and information practices. • Promote the development of best practices and standards into KLIS field. • Recommend strategies for deploying new and proven technologies. • Identify, promote and support regional projects, develop and support the establishment of national, regional and global networks and partnerships to facilitate integration and optimization of the use of resources.
KLIS – WIDER TERMS OF REFERENCE • Examine and provide principles of ownership access to and responsibilities relating to commercial aspects of knowledge and information in order to promote transparency and exchange. • Maintain liaison and coordinate its activities with other CODI/CODIST sub-committees. • Promote networking among institutions and practitioners in the KLIS field and generate synergy at national level to assist their management and best use. • Review the ECA work programme relating to the KLIS field. • Promote the development and improvement of national legislation in the KLIS field in ECA Member States.
RECOMMENDATIONS-to UNECA • That it enforces the decisions, resolutions and recommendations of CODI-IV by putting in place administrative and managerial structures that will continue to support the activities of KLIS Sub-Committee under CODIST as a separate Sub-Committee. • That it should as a matter of urgency initiate the necessary capacity building activities for the development of national repositories of information generated in Member States under the AVLIN initiative.
RECOMMENDATIONS-to MEMBER STATES • That each country should establish a National Council on Library and Information Service to advise it on the development of Libraries and Information Services. • To put in place necessary legal and technical measures to support the development of national information repositories. • To enable Public Libraries to bridge the digital divide and provide social inclusion by providing full and free access to Internet to the community. • To use the opportunities that the MDGs offer to set up mechanisms and provide resources for the establishment of information literacy and life-long learning policies to empower people.
ADOPTION OF REPORT • The report was adopted by the KLIS Sub-Committee on 3rd May 2007 on a motion by Malawi that was supported by Nigeria.
CURRENT SITUATION • In spite of all the above KLIS did not live. • It is important that KLIS is revived to carry out the tasks that it has set out to do. • Some of the objectives and activities recommended at the KLIS meeting in 2007 like the setting up of Digital Libraries, Information Repositories and National Councils on Library and Information are operational or in the pipeline in some Member States. • There is enough enthusiasm, will and drive by KLIS professionals in Africa to carry out the objectives outlined by KLIS. • It is now of much need for KLIS to exist to coordinate all the existing and emerging efforts.
CONCLUSION • It is recommended to ECA that as a matter of urgency the KLIS Sub-Committee of CODIST should be re-instated to enable its activities to be re-launched so that it will perform the key role of supporting the availability of development information to all levels and peoples of Africa.