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General News of Friday, 1 November 2019

Source: Angela Gyan

African Ministerial Conference on Information Access opens in Accra

Education Minister, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh speaking at the event

The 3rd Ministerial Roundtable for African Ministers with oversight responsibilities for Libraries has opened in Accra under the auspices of the Ministry of Education.

The two-day conference is under the theme, “Libraries on the African Development Agenda: Progress made” and strategically falls within the framework of the AU 2063 Agenda, the Charter for African Renaissance and the related outcomes of the AU Commission meeting held in Algeria in October 2018.

The conference is aimed at providing leadership and guidance on how governments can integrate libraries in their national development plans and ensure allocation of resources towards the achievement of the development goals.

The Host Minister, Hon. Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Ghana’s Minister of Education at the opening of the conference, reiterated the essence of libraries and information access.

“Information has become very crucial to every enterprise in life, hence its acquisition, storage, dissemination, evaluation and use needs to be properly positioned. Libraries play a role in the organization of the deluge of information available today as a consequence of technological advancement,” he said.

The Minister of Education further stated that the government of Ghana under the leadership of His Excellency President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo recognizes the importance of libraries in development and has rolled out interventions that have seen a rejuvenated public library service in the country.

The sector Minister added that reforms that have taken place at public libraries in Ghana include, “an increase in staff strength at Ghana Library Authority, opening of new libraries, renovating existing libraries, increasing the number of books and adoption of technology in various forms of operations and service delivery.”

He also noted, “Africa must redouble our efforts in support of our libraries if we want to make significant strides in the attainment of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.”

At the end of the conference, African governments are expected to make commitments to strategies mapped out, for the development of libraries on the continent.

Thirty-two (32) African countries are represented at the conference consisting of Ministers of State, Directors of Libraries, High Level and Emerging Library leaders.