By Bisi Ajibola | March 2, 2021
The IASSIST Africa Chapter Workshop held from 11th to 13th of January 2021 at Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda was attended physically and virtually by participants from all over the world. The President of IASSIST, Prof. Sandra Cannon and the President of Association of Parliamentary Librarians of Eastern and Southern Africa were among the international personalities that graced the conference. This justified the universality nature of the workshop by attendance, participation, coverage and delivery.
The workshop papers presented united to achieve the primary goal of the event which was Data Literacy as a catalyst for achieving Sustainable Development Goals. The presentations were a combination of different styles which included academic learning, experiential learning and sharing, as well as project reporting.
The regional workshop afforded participants knowledge gains in data development and management as well as data literacy. Subjects on data management for the achievement of SDG goals, data literacy strategies, data application for decision-making and problem resolution, data management in development context, data management and literacy policy were thought among others. All of these united in the end to justify the importance the goal of the regional workshop in Africa development context. The regional workshop gave the participants opportunities to share knowledge and experience among themselves.
The organizers of the workshop were well prepared as it reflects in their disposition to the welfare of the participants and more importantly observing the procedure for prevention of the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic disease. The host country did not end the workshop without letting the foreign participants have a sight of some historic places in the Kampala such as the National Museum and the Ugandan Martyrs’ Namugongo Shrines among others.
The workshop ended with a cocktail party that featured prominently a participant from Ghana, Mr. David Kofi Dokli rendering three tracks from his album that we all danced to. At the cocktail participants were entertained with foods and drinks with some Ugandan music as well. The Chair, Organising Committee also gave his farewell speech. It was a moment we felt the workshop should just encore.
I believe the regional workshop was a success as it achieved the purpose it served. Apart from the fact that fellowship was given there were more benefits that accrued from attending the workshop. It changed my perspective about some issues and more insight into the database project I am currently handling. It exposed blind sides of many as a result of convergence of pools of ideas that were formerly opaque. It also exposed us to current trends in data management and data literacy. It was an opportunity of one to many as it brought people from different countries to one place.
In conclusion, I would say IASSIST Africa has come to stay as a blessing to the continent. This is because rate of development cannot be dissociated from data generation and it’s broker-dealing. African countries and her regional governments should buy into IASSIST Africa and support her into becoming a continental pool for Africa’s development.