UNESCO supports conference of Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Branch of the International Council on Archives

The XXII General Conference of the Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Branch of the International Council on Archives (ESARBICA) is taking place from 3 to 7 June 2013 in Nairobi, Kenya. This regional event brings together archivists, records managers, scholars, students and researchers from Angola, Kenya, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, Zanzibar, Zimbabwe and South Sudan.

Speaking at the press conference of the event, Dr Hassan Wario Arero, Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Culture and the Arts, stated that the regional conference was of great social, cultural and political benefit to Kenya and ESARBICA member countries in their undertaking to promote, protect, preserve and use documentary heritage. He thanked the UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa for making it possible for the Kenya National Archives and Documentation Service (KNADS) to host the regional conference in Nairobi for the second time since 1969.

The XXII ESARBICA Conference will discuss papers treating various aspects of the technological paradigm shift in archival world and emerging issues on digital management and preservation. In discussing these topics, participants will also consider how the Southern and Eastern Africa Region can participate in the implementation of the UNESCO/UBC Vancouver Declaration on Digitization and Preservation which was adopted in September 2012.

Some of the themes that will be discussed in the parallel sessions at the Conference include integrated records and archives management programmes; the role of archives in preserving nation’s heritage; and emerging technologies in information and knowledge management. A pre-conference workshop (from 3 to 4 June 2013) also looks at disaster management of archives.

ESARBICA is a professional regional body that brings together fourteen national archival institutions in Eastern and Southern Africa on matters of archives and records management. Current efforts are underway to bring Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan to the ESARBICA community.

UNESCO’s Regional Office for Eastern Africa is taking part in this biennial event as part of its efforts to assist Member States to better protect and digitize documentary heritage, and reinforce the capacities of archives and libraries to serve as centres of education, learning and information exchange.