By Robert Stalone Buwule and Winny Nekesa Akullo | December 18, 2023
We are excited to note that IASSIST’s Africa chapter has continued to grow bigger and stronger. After a successful first IASSIST Africa Regional Workshop in Uganda during January 2021, a second IASSIST Africa Regional Workshop took place in Ibadan, Nigeria in West Africa October 4th through October 7th, 2022. We are delighted to share with you the papers in this issue, most of which were presented at the second IASSIST Africa Regional Workshop at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria.
The first paper unpacks the application of emerging technologies for research support in academic libraries in the modern era. The authors are Dr. Sophia V. Adeyeye and Taofeek Abiodun Oladokun who explain how emerging technologies offer innovative ways of supporting research activities. These emerging technologies provide tools and resources that streamline the research process and ensure proper visibility for the research outputs of academic libraries’ clients. The article explores various areas where academic libraries can apply emerging technologies such as data mining, data management, artificial intelligence, library automation and scholarly communication, among others. The article further highlights the setbacks academic libraries in Nigeria are facing in the application of emerging technologies such as lack of infrastructure, librarians’ skills, and negative attitude towards change.
The second article, authored by Ms. Akinyoola Oladoyin Grace, is titled Knowledge and perception of librarians towards cloud-based technology in academic libraries in Southwest, Nigeria. In this paper the author reveals that librarians in academic libraries in Southwest Nigeria are familiar with and use cloud-based technologies. However, the librarians seem to have a negative attitude towards the use of these technologies. Therefore, there is a need for a staff development program that would enable the librarians to keep pace with the latest technologies. Such a program could be funded by government and executed through seminars, conferences, and workshops so as to enhance the librarians’ skills with cloud-based technologies.
The third paper presents the preservation of election data and security in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Election malfeasance and violence have been experienced in Nigerian political systems since 1959. In this paper Sunday Tunmibi and Wole Olatokun explore how the world’s gradual move into the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) could be harnessed to ensure the preparation of free and fair elections. The paper suggests specific 4IR technological solutions to electoral data security and preservation challenges. It also suggests policies to serve as catalysts for the Independent National Electoral Commission. Suggested policies for 4IR technologies relate to artificial intelligence, big data, internet of things, robotics, block chain, cloud computing and 3-D printing. These are the 4IR technologies that dictate the pace of activities in all walks of life including security and managing a free and fair national election.
In the fourth paper Ologbosere Oluwatosin Abiodun discusses the significance of data literacy in the era of big data. It emphasizes the role of big data as a fundamental building block of truth focusing on the emergence of data literacy. Data literacy is a crucial subset of information literacy necessary for navigating the virtual landscape. Essential data literacy skills that are needed for navigating the dynamic twenty-first-century environment are highlighted. Integrating data literacy into higher educational programs, particularly in libraries, is stressed for relevance in meaningful information resource utilization. This paper shows how the integration of data literacy in higher education emphasizes the critical role of data literacy in the context of economic growth, development and informed decision-making and fosters sustainable development.
In the fifth paper titled Data protection and right to privacy legislation in Kenya, author Andrew Matoke Mankome articulates how the Parliament of Kenya enacted the Data Protection legislation in November 2019. This new law guaranteed the right to privacy as a fundamental right. Data Protection and citizens’ right to privacy is now a topical concern in Kenya and around the world. This paper expounds how the new law comes at a time when data security and privacy concerns are prevalent and lack of them result in loss of reputation and identity; safety concerns; legal penalties; and compensation for damages or loss of business. This is mainly because of the increasing globalization, cross-border transactions, internet penetration, and the use of social media and digital platforms among citizens, private institutions, and governments. This paper reviews the crucial provisions of the Data Protection law which covers regulated actions seeking compliance by data controllers and processors under the stewardship of the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (‘ODPC’). A comparative analysis of the practice in other jurisdictions is also provided.
*Dr. Robert Stalone Buwule is the University Librarian of Mbarara University of Science and Technology in Uganda, rbuwule ( at ) must.ac.ug
*Ms. Winny Nekesa Akullo is the Head of Records and Information Management at the National Social Security Fund of Uganda, winny.nekesa ( at ) yahoo.com
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