ESARBICA Journal: Journal of the Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Branch of the International Council on Archives

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Preserving the African memory: Critical challenges for ESARBICA archival organizations

Kago Ramokate


The focus of this paper is on identifying challenges related to preservation of archives faced by member states of ESARBICA. A survey questionnaire was sent out to all. The research indicates that archival preservation measures are not a top priority for regional archival organizations. Records management and access to information contained in archives are given attention ahead of preservation. This is in contrast to the recommended practice of ensuring preservation of records through integration of preservation measures in the overall policies of archival organizations.

The paper identifies various challenges which are common in the region and brings to the fore some of the consequences of continued neglect of preservation. It submits that without deliberate efforts of archival organizations to deal with the challenges identified, some of Africa's earliest documentary memory will be lost over time.

AJOL African Journals Online