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The ACP countries, contributors to ICKM at world level

September 18, 2014

Pooling, participation, interactions are some of the key words which prompted the CTA to support the participation of 16 ACP country representatives at the 14th World Congress of the International Association of Agricultural Information Specialists (IAALD) devoted to the theme of "Emerging Priorities for Scientific and Agricultural Information". In preparation for this event, held at Cornell University (USA), in July 2013, a call for international contributions was launched. "We issued the IAALD call for proposals in our networks, and supported the participation of 16 representatives from ACP countries," notes Krishan Bheenick, a knowledge management expert at CTA. Among the presentations selected, around twenty, i.e. more than half, dealt with experiences in the ACP region, a sign of the significant participation of the ACP countries in a high-level international event.

An international community of practice

The CTA considers that in order to develop the information, communication and knowledge management (ICKM) capacities of the ACP countries, it is necessary to be engaged first of all in an international community of practice, hence the importance of this event. The ACP representatives thus furthered the objectives of the CTA in three ways: by sharing with their peers their own experience in information and knowledge management; by participating in intra-ACP and global debates on agricultural information and knowledge management; and by contributing to the development of an action plan for the international community of practice in this area.

Moreover, in supporting their participation, the CTA has established itself as a dynamic IAALD stakeholder in the area of agricultural information and knowledge management. A wide range of stakeholders, including research centres, producer organisation and extension services, participated in the initiative.

Galvanizing agricultural information

At the congress, a half-day of work devoted to the future of agricultural information and knowledge resource centres was co-organised by the CTA. As part of the follow-up to this work, the centre is currently carrying out, jointly with the FAO, a study on the status of agricultural libraries and documentation centres in Africa. The aim is to gain a better understanding of their needs, with a view to developing suitable and efficient support strategies and methods for the future.