The IAALD Africa Chapter was established on 26 May 2006, in Nairobi, Kenya, following a decision made by the participants from Africa at the
the XIth World IAALD/USAIN Conference in Lexington, Kentucky, USA in May 2005. Inspired by the experiences of other regions e.g. USAIN, Eastern Europe, China and Japan, the African group at the conference felt that the time was ripe to launch an African Chapter. It was tentatively agreed that a regional meeting for Africa take place in May 2006, in Kenya.
The main objectives of the meeting were:
- To exchange ideas and help develop the skills of African agricultural information managers in information handling and management to facilitate access to available vital resource.
- To create a platform where agriculture information professionals, scientists and other stakeholders interested in African agricultural information for research development can interact and learn from each other’s experiences.
- To establish and launch an African chapter of IAALD.
On 26 May 2006, the last day of the First IAALD Africa Chapter Conference (21 – 26 May 2006), held at the Hotel Intercontinental Nairobi, in Kenya, an interim Executive Committee was elected and the IAALD Africa Chapter was officially launched amid cheers and singing and dancing. The elected Executive Committee members were:
- President - Justin Chisenga (Zambia/Ghana)
- Vice President - Joseph Kiplang’at (Kenya)
- Vice President - Dady Demby (Congo-Brazzaville/Senegal)
- Secretary - Gracian Chimwaza (Zimbabwe)
- Treasurer - Hilda Munyua (Kenya)
- Member - Rosaline Njike (Cameroon)
- Member - Elvira Timba (Mozambique)
- Member - Dickson Baguma (Uganda)
- Member - Dr. Hashim Abdalla Muhsin (Sudan)
The ceremony was presided over by the IAALD President – Mr. Peter Ballantyne and his Executive committee. The climax of the ceremony was a role play, symbolizing the birth of the new “baby” - the IAALD Africa Chapter.
IAALD President: “Mtoto amezaliwa” – Swahili for a baby is born
IAALD Executive Committee: “Who will own the baby?”
IAALD Africa Executive Committee: “We will own the baby”
Objectives of the Chapter
- To provide a forum for discussion of issues relating to creating, managing, disseminating information and knowledge concerning agriculture and rural development in Africa.
- To promote cooperation and communication among its members in order to strengthen the agricultural information management profession in Africa.
- To take a leadership role in advocating for implementation of sound agricultural information management strategies and policies in institutions.
- To promote capacity building, for both individual and institutional, in agricultural information management.