Open access publishing punted
INTERNET| May 3, 2011, 2:38 p.m.
A workshop at CODIST II in Ethiopia says open access technologies could benefit Africa.
The workshop, on the theme “ Promoting Innovation Development and Diffusion in Africa through Open Access Publishing” , was held this week at the headquarters of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The workshop was organized as a pre-event of the Second Session of the Committee on Development Information (CODIST II) and was attended by more than 50 participants, including librarians from the UN, the African Union and Universities across Africa, as well as Knowledge Management experts and Scientific Officers
Delegates examined ways to improve knowledge sharing in Africa and to remove existing barriers. Participants recommended that Member States should adopt appropriate Open Access (OA) policies and that the ECA should take the leadership in these activities.
“ Open Access is a new way of publishing and of sharing information in the 21st century” , said Irene Onyancha, ECA’ s Chief Librarian. “ Everyone has a role to play in knowledge development and content sharing and everyone can make an impact” , she added.
At issue during the workshop was the current situation in Africa and the question of how OA can benefit Africa.
“ African internet connectivity is improving dramatically and it will be the same as it is in Europe and in the United States; the mobile phone market in Africa is currently the fastest growing in the world” , said Calum Land from BioMed Central a global publisher of peer-reviewed open access journals. He pointed out, however, that the growth in connectivity has not yet translated into access to online journals for African academics as they also lack the skills to use computers.
“ All of us must share knowledge in order to achieve the MDGs, and if we don’ t open up in this field I don’ t think we will reach these goals” , said Matseliso Moshoeshoe-Chadzingwa from the Advisory Board of Electronic information for libraries, a non-profit network enabling access to knowledge for training, learning, research and sustainable community development in more than 45 transition and developing countries.
Dr. Buhle Mbambo-Thata from the Africa Section of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) pointed out that “ nothing in the past has ever given Africa such an opportunity to share its knowledge” , and that the growth of the internet is chance that must not be wasted.
The meeting was in agreement that the way forward must ensure the creation of requisite infrastructure and legal frameworks to support the growth of online content on the continent.
Among other issues, the morning sessions dealt with open access standards and policies; open access advocacy tools; the conception, development and the implementation and management of digital repositories.
MORE INTERNET NEWS
E-commerce: DRC not in race despite ICT enthusiasmDespite its recent ICT gains, DRC is still lagging on the e-commerce front, reports Issa Sikiti da Silva. Read More
Intelsat celebrates 50 yearsIntelsat today commemorates its 50th anniversary of providing critical telecommunications and video content distribution infrastructure for businesses, organizations and governments around the world. Read More
Ruckus Wireless expands presence in AfricaRuckus Wireless has appointed Westcon Africa as the newest member of its growing distributor network as part of the company’s continued expansion into Africa. Read More
MACRA calls for SADC frequency harmonisationMACRA has called on SADC member states to harmonise their activities in the region so that they continue serving their respective countries in an orderly manner. Read More
Zoom Wireless takes cheaper high speed internet to northern UgandaInternet users in Gulu are enjoying lower internet costs after Zoom Wireless, a part of SINFA Uganda LTD, began offering a range of corporate and small business and residential grade fixed wireless services in the region. Read More
DRC print media, radio looks to digitalNewspapers and radio stations in the Democratic Republic of Congo are moving online to reach wider audiences. Read More
MSTelcom extends agreement with Intelsat to expand satellite broadband services in AngolaIntelsat S.A has entered into a new, multi-year agreement with MSTelcom, who will leverage Intelsat’s satellite and network expertise to offer broadband service to consumers and corporations in Angola's oil and gas and banking sectors. Read More
Malawi to host SADC universalising broadband meetingThe Malawi government will host a workshop on Universalising Broadband in the SADC, barely two days after finishing hosting the 33rd Ordinary Session of the Administrative Council of The Pan African Postal Union (PAPU). Read More
Most DRC government ministries still have no websitesThe government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) may have inaugurated a fibre optic landing station but many of its ministries and other institutions have nothing to do with modernism and digital revolution. Read More
FEATURED STORYNigeria’s VAS providers ‘on brink of extinction’
WASPAN chief Simon Aderinlola says unless the regulator intervenes, WASPAN may not have anything left to regulate. Kokumo Goodie reports.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHKenya rolls out e-extension to improve agriculture
In a bid to curb the overwhelmed number of agricultural extension officers in Kenya, the ministry of agriculture is embracing technology with their introduction of E-Extension services, which are aimed at reaching out to over 7 million farmers annually.