24 June 2016
Second BSLA workshop held in Francophone Africa
The IFLA Building Strong Library Associations Programme (BSLA) supports projects in Africa, Asia and Oceania, and Latin America and the Caribbean. BSLA offers a strategic and coordinated approach to capacity building and sustainability of library associations and provides training modules to assist in developing the library and information profession, improving library services and building strategic partnerships and advocacy skills.
A second Building Strong Library Associations programme regional workshop for French speaking countries in Africa was organized from 23–25 May 2016 in Yaounde, Cameroon. IN addition to support and funding from IFLA, the project attracted support from the Speaker of the National Assembly of Cameroon represented by his Director of Cabinet, and sponsorship from Embassy of the United States of America and the Goethe Institute. Hosted by the Cameroon national library association, ABADCAM, the project represents the association’s continued efforts to strengthen partnerships nationally and with other associations in the region, following their initial participation in BSLA from 2010-2012 as one of the first country projects.
The second workshop saw an increase from seven to ten in participating countries from the first regional workshop, organised in December 2015. Participating countries were Senegal, Benin, Ivory Coast, Mali, Burkina-Faso, Chad, Gabon, Congo, Madagascar, and Cameroon.
With support from the US Embassy, Professor Ismail Abdullahi, North Carolina Central University School of Library and Information sciences participated in the workshop to deliver a keynote on The Success of the American Library Association (ALA) in Professional Capacity Building for American Librarians and Educators and the Role of African Diaspora in LIS Development in Africa. The second keynote was held by ABADCAM President Alim Garga, IFLA Africa section chair Dr Rosemary Shafack and IFLA Language Centre for French in Africa manager, Mandiaye Ndiaye, on Library development in Africa with the role of the Africa Federation of Library Associations and Institution (AfLIA).
The focus of the workshop was to discuss how library associations in the region, some of which are newly formed or emerging from a period of being dormant, can elaborate and implement their strategic plans; how libraries can impact on national development agendas, and advocacy and marketing towards governments. One aim of this BSLA project is to establish a network of library associations in French speaking Africa, which goes hand in hand with the aim to strengthen the capacity of the associations.
For more information about the BSLA programme, visit the IFLA webpage Building Strong Library Associations.