Arts and Culture hosts 3rd Public Library Summit and 2nd Ministerial Roundtable on Information Access, 3 to 6 Jul

Minister Mthethwa welcomes international delegates to the 3rd African Public Libraries Summit and the Ministerial Roundtable at Durban ICC

The National Department of Arts and Culture through the National Library of South Africa (NLSA) and Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA) will host the 2nd Ministerial Roundtable on Information Access with regard to the African Union (AU) Agenda 2063 and the Charter for African Cultural Renaissance.

The Roundtable of African Ministers will take place from 5-6 July 2018 at the International Convention Centre (ICC), Durban in KwaZulu Natal.

Amongst other objectives, the Roundtable will provide a strategic leadership and guidance on how governments can integrate libraries in their national development plans; and to safeguard allocation of resources in order to ensure that development goals are achieved.

Led by Minister of Arts and Culture, Mr Nathi Mthethwa, the African Ministers of Arts and Culture are expected to report on information access with regard to the African Union Agenda 2063 and the Charter for African Cultural Renaissance. They will also deliberate on progress made since the adoption of Cape Town Declarations of August 2015.

As African countries, we need to create an enabling environment to enable African libraries and librarians to fulfil their role as agents of change and societal development as envisaged in the United Nations Post-2015 Development Agenda, stated Minister Nathi Mthethwa.

Prior to the Minister's Roundtable, the Department of Arts and Culture will host the 3rd Public Library Summit from 3 � 4 July 2018 under the theme: Driving Development: African Public Libraries Delivering on the Development Agenda, in partnership with the African Library and Information Associations and Institutions (AfLIA). The Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture, Ms Maggie Sotyu will officially open the Summit on Tuesday, 03 July 2018 at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Durban.

As a precursor to the Ministerial Roundtable, the Summit will gather all the educators, practitioners and policy makers, as well as organizations and professionals working in partnership with African public libraries to deliberate on key resolutions to guide efforts towards the development and promotion of local content in African libraries.

It is important that we support an African library network that can provide Africa with a united voice in world affairs and instil confidence and pride in an African identity, said Deputy Minister Sotyu.

The African Library and Information Association and Institutions (AfLIA) has a mandate to develop libraries, information centres, and equip library and information personnel with 21st century skills to offer cutting edge modern services to people on the African continent to improve their lives.

This year, the Summit also coincides with the 200 years anniversary celebrations of the National Library of South Africa (NLSA) since its formation on March, 1818. The National Library has over the years become the treasure house of knowledge given its extensive holdings. Hosting of the Summit and Ministerial Roundtable is a fitting tribute not only for the oldest library in South Africa, but also the oldest cultural institution of any kind in the country.

Let African libraries supported by ourselves take on the responsibilities of being interactive centres that engage with communities so that together we generate, collect and document the oral histories of our people, concluded Deputy Minister Sotyu.

Source: Government of South Africa