ESARBICA Journal: Journal of the Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Branch of the International Council on Archives <p><em>ESARBICA Journal</em> focuses on records and archives management and the related fields of&nbsp;indigenous knowledge systems.</p> en-US Copyright is owned by The Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Branch of the International Council on Archives (Dr Segomotso Keakopa) (Prof Nampombe Saurombe) Tue, 14 May 2024 22:20:14 +0000 OJS 60 Editorial <p>Dear esteemed readers</p> <p>It is with great pleasure that we introduce volume 42 of the Journal of the Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Branch of the International Council on Archives (ESARBICA), which is a special issue featuring selected articles presented at the 27<sup>th</sup>&nbsp; ESARBICA conference that was held from 14-18 August 2023 at Birchwood Hotel, Gauteng, South Africa. As the guest editors of this special issue, we are delighted to present a collection of research, insights and innovations that emerged from the conference sessions.</p> Nampombe Saurombe, Makutla Mojapelo Copyright (c) 2023 Tue, 14 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 Digital records curation education in Zambia <p>Governments worldwide see digital transformation (digitalization) as an avenue for efficient and effective service provision. However, with digital transformation comes rapid generation of records in huge volumes and varying formats, leading to a drastic shift in the way in which records are managed and stored. In response to these developments, there is an urgent need to review the current records management curricula and pedagogy. This paper investigates digital records curation education in Zambia in order to determine the preparedness of the Zambian higher education institutions to produce records management professionals who are ready to work in the emerging digital and knowledge economy. Using qualitative research methods, particularly interviews and document analysis, the study revealed that digital records curation has not received adequate attention in Zambia. However, there is ongoing review of curricula to address digital records curation issues at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Numerous challenges affect digital records curation education in Zambia, including inadequate information and communication technology infrastructure (including computer laboratories), inadequate technical skills, disintegrated curricula and limited access to software packages for demonstration. Based on the findings and discussion, the following is recommended: curricula review based on a needs assessment of the required skills and knowledge set for digital curation, embark on capacity building among ARM educators, increase funding for the development of ICT infrastructure, standardise the ARM curriculum across institutions and monitor ARM training through ARM institutes.</p> Abel M'kulama, Akakandelwa Akakandela, Tuesday Bwalya, Sitali Wamundila, Chrispin Hamooya Copyright (c) 2023 Tue, 14 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 Ingesting digital records into an archival system <p>The National Archives and Records Service of South Africa Act (No. 43 of 1996) as<br>amended (NARSSA Act) (Republic of South Africa 1996) requires that the National<br>Archives and Records Services of South Africa (NARSSA) should identify records with<br>archival value. In addition, it requires that such records be preserved as part of the national<br>archive heritage. The receipt of digital records from government bodies is a crucial<br>responsibility of NARSSA. Through the National Automated Archival Information<br>Retrieval System (NAAIRS), NARSSA aims to ensure that records are preserved.<br>Transferring digital records to NAAIRS is a responsibility assigned to NARSSA by the<br>NARSSA Act to enable citizens and researchers to access preserved digital records. In<br>this way, its commitment to nation building and social cohesion by taking archives to the<br>people is achieved by NARSSA. The purpose of this paper is to explore the key<br>components to be considered when ingesting digital records into the NAAIRS, South<br>Africa. This study is based on a conceptual framework based on standards endorsed by<br>NARSSA and the Access to Memory (AtoM) NAAIRS database. This qualitative study<br>uses document analysis as a data collection tool. The findings recommend that a<br>framework be considered for standardising the ingestion of digital records on the<br>NAAIRS.</p> Lorette Jacobs, Thulisile Lemekoana Copyright (c) 2023 Tue, 14 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 Exploration of education and training of records and archives management staff in the public sector organisations of Lusaka, Zambia <p>This study was based on the education and training of records and archives management staff in the public sector organisations of Lusaka, Zambia. The population of the study was drawn from four government institutions in Lusaka. The main purpose of the study was to assess the level of records management training for the records management staff in Lusaka, Zambia. Specifically, the study assessed the level of educational training in records management assessed the knowledge levels of records management of the participants and looked at the challenges encountered in the management of records and archives by public sector organisations. A survey approach was adopted for this study and employed a quantitative approach. Simple random sampling technique was used to select the 60 participants. Data were gathered using closed-ended questionnaires and analysed statistically using Statistical Package for Social Science 23.0 (SPSS).The following findings came out of the study:65% of the participants had not attended formal training in records and archive management; 55% of the participants were not very conversant in the management of records and archives; and, finally, the study revealed that 66% of the participants encountered challenges, which included a lack of support from management, a lack of knowledge on how to appraise records and how to design the records retention and disposition schedule. However,34% of the respondents did not encounter any challenges. The study concluded by recommending what should be done to mitigate the identified challenges, such as management should facilitate further training for the members of staff managing records and archives, create more storage space for records and ensure that policies on records and archives management are updated regularly.</p> Chembe Kaluba, Thelma Siame Kapapa Copyright (c) 2023 Tue, 14 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 Internet of Things for archival ease of access to users in the Fifth Industrial Revolution <p>The prevalence of the internet of things has significantly contributed to streamlining archival access for users in the Fifth Industrial Revolution. The internet of things is characterised by physical objects equipped with sensors, processing capabilities, software and other technologies that facilitate data exchange with devices and systems over the internet or other communication networks. In the fifth industrial revolution, the internet of things can play a pivotal role in ensuring quick and efficient access to archival materials within archival institutions. The internet of things involves the use of intelligently connected devices and systems, utilising data collected by embedded sensors and actuators in physical objects. Technologies such as radio frequency identification, sensors, tags and AI-driven applications like the smart archival app can expedite the retrieval of archival records. This study sought to investigate the application of the internet of things to enhance archival access for users, employing content analysis to develop a framework for implementing the internet of things in archival settings. The findings indicate that utilising RFID, sensors and tags significantly accelerates access to archival records by efficiently tracking their location. This presents a promising solution for users who currently invest considerable time, money and effort to access required archival materials, often requiring visits to archival institutions. The study proposes a comprehensive framework for applying the internet of things to facilitate archival access for users in the Fifth Industrial Revolution. The hope is that this framework can serve as a valuable benchmark and guideline for implementing the internet of things in archival settings, offering efficient access to archival materials in the Fifth Industrial Revolution.</p> Mashilo Modiba, Ngoako Solomon Marutha Copyright (c) 2023 Tue, 14 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 Safeguarding plantation records of Malawi <p>The paper on safeguarding plantation records of Malawi is a case study of a digitisation project that was carried out in 2018. The purpose of the study was to identify the most endangered plantation records and examine their storage conditions. Fifteen tea and tobacco plantations, namely Angoniland estates, Chimphamba Estate, Katondo_Chizinga_kandaula Estates, Likabula Tea Estates, Lusingwe Estates, Malosa Estates, Mbumba Estates, Mchenga and Falls Dairy, Mfumba Estates, Mgweritsi Estates, Monjesi Estates, Nachambo Estates, Nyasa Tobacco Estates and Rusa Estates, were purposefully sampled as the earliest plantations having been established in the 1800s. The data were collected through field visits to the estates and interviews with the estate owners. In terms of the implementation, about 600 images were digitised as samples and are accessible on the EAP website. The study concluded that the plantations were in the custody of valuable records, which have historical significance to the nation but the records were degrading slowly to poor storage conditions. Therefore, the study recommended that a major project had to be carried out with the aim of developing proper records rooms in the plantations and digitising the most endangered records. In addition, the National Archives of Malawi should work closely with the plantation owners to institute a deliberate programme of management of records in the estates.</p> Innocent Mankhwala Copyright (c) 2023 Tue, 14 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 Archives as evidence for land restitution process in South Africa <p>The responsibility of the government to redress the inequalities and injustices of historical land dispossessions by making use of archives has become a significant tool in that regard. Archival institutions in most countries prioritised collecting and preserving memories to serve as evidence for land claims. This study sought to explore the usage of archives as evidence in land restitution processes in South Africa, aiming to identify potential solutions for improving the effectiveness of utilising archives as evidence for land claims in the country. The study adopted a qualitative approach to collect data through interviews with project officers and archivists as well as oral testimony for restitution claimants. Snowball sampling was used to select restitution claimants, while purposeful sampling was used for archivists and project officers. The study found that factors inhibiting the use of archives at the National Archives and Records Service of South Africa (NARSSA) to settle land claims include language barriers, a lack of archives, a lack of public programming initiatives, geographic barriers and limited working hours. Ultimately, this paper concludes that if the NARSSA does not collect more undocumented memories of the marginalised communities through oral history and land records older than 20 years, the victims of land dispossessions will not get justice or land rights. It is recommended that the NARSSA should digitise land restitution collections and make them accessible to the public on their website to increase the use of archives to shape the outcome of the restitution process.</p> Lyborn Mabapa Copyright (c) 2023 Tue, 14 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 Navigating the digital era: challenges and solutions for archival professional in education and training <p>A study conducted a decade ago indicated the susceptibility of the archival profession to automation and ranked it as a high-risk profession. Indeed, the digital era has brought significant changes to the archival profession, including new technologies, new forms of records and new expectations for access and preservation. However, these changes also bring new challenges for archival professionals in terms of education and training. This paper aims to provide insight into the issues facing archival professionals in the digital era, and to help organisations and institutions develop effective education and training programmes that meet the changing needs of the profession. Through a literature review and content analysis, this paper provides an in-depth examination of the challenges faced by archival professionals in the digital era and the impact of these challenges on education and training. Additionally, this paper recommends how to address these challenges, including the importance of review and update archival curricula and collaborative partnerships.</p> Tolulope Balogun Copyright (c) 2023 Tue, 14 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 Disaster preparedness for records management at the Workers’ Compensation Fund, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania <p>The study examined disaster preparedness for managing records in the Workers’ Compensation Fund (WCF) in Tanzania. Specifically, the study identified potential disasters that can affect records and the facilities available for disaster preparedness in managing records, established the level of skills in disaster preparedness among WCF staff and identified challenges WCF staff faced in disaster preparedness for managing records. The study employed a mixed methods research design to assess the disaster preparedness programme for managing records at the WCF. The study findings indicated that the WCF is ill-prepared for potential disasters that may affect their records and inadequate staff training on disaster preparedness for managing records. Limited storage capacity for records and a lack of a written disaster preparedness plan were among the major challenges faced by the institution. The study recommends that the WCF should develop a disaster management plan as a proactive approach towards the management of their records and develop a comprehensive training programme to orient staff on disaster preparedness.</p> Praygod Ng’unda, Esther Ndenje-Sichalwe Copyright (c) 2023 Tue, 14 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 Impact of COVID-19 on access to the National Archives of Zimbabwe <p>The Covid-19 pandemic greatly impacted most sectors of Zimbabwean society, including archives and records management institutions like the National Archives of Zimbabwe (NAZ). The subsequent lockdown and emergency measures taken by the government in an attempt to stem the spread of the pandemic meant that all businesses and services were shut down, except for what government prescribed as essential services and businesses. The NAZ, like all government departments, was declared an essential service but with scaled-down operations and activities from March 2020. While it was open to the public, the lockdown restricted physical movement by the citizenry rendering access impossible given the fact that its collections are not readily available remotely. This paper describes the impact of Covid-19 on the accessibility of archival materials at the NAZ, and the challenges induced by the Covid-19 pandemic. The use of physical resources declined while remote access increased for some of the collections. It also highlights the collaboration between NAZ and the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare in implementing the pronounced Covid-19 protocols to remain open and continue to render access to its patrons and users. The paper also draws lessons from previous pandemics and standard operating procedures as enunciated by the International Council on Archives and such bodies on how archival institutions like the NAZ can navigate pandemics and chaos and continue to fulfil their mandates as prescribed by statute.</p> Samuel Chabikwa, Patrick Ngulube Copyright (c) 2023 Tue, 14 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 Digitisation of claims records at the Road Accident Fund in South Africa <p>This study is an extract of a master's study titled An exploration into the current records management practices of the Road Accident Fund in South Africa. The aim of the study was to investigate how the Road Accident Fund has been digitising its claims records. The study followed a qualitative research approach and used a case study design. Data were collected using document analysis, supplemented by observation. The population involved in this study was comprised of 766 permanent employees in the Road Accident Fund Pretoria Regional Office. The target population for this study was the 69 employees in the Correspondence and Document Management Services at the Pretoria Regional Office, and the sample consisted of a management team of 17 managers. The findings revealed that the Road Accident Fund has been trying to digitise its claims records since 2002 through scanning. However, the organisation scanned paper-based claims records without properly understanding database management concepts, file and document tracking, imaging and scanning technologies, electronic document management, workflow and electronic records management. As a result, scanned claims records cannot be retrieved. This results in more service delivery problems for the organisation than the traditional use of paper-based records.</p> Vanessa Neo Mathope Copyright (c) 2023 Tue, 14 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 Moving with times <p>This paper aims to determine the inclusion of specified Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies in the curriculum of library and information schools at the University of Botswana in Botswana (UB) and the University of Fort Hare (UFH) in South Africa. The said 4IR technologies are cloud computing, artificial intelligence and machine learning as well as blockchain technology. This study used content analysis on the website of the two universities, documentary review and literature as data sources in the endeavour to resolve the research problem. The two universities were selected purposively because they were comprehensive universities using the South African context. In addition, the selection was also informed by the LIS curriculum offered by the universities. The study revealed that UB offered a Bachelor of Information and Knowledge Management with specialisation in archives and records management, knowledge management, and library and information studies, and the Bachelor of Information Systems (information management). At postgraduate level, the UB offered a master’s degree in archives and records management, a master’s degree in library and information studies, and a Master of Philosophy/Doctor of Philosophy in Library and Information Studies. UFH offered a Bachelor of Library and Information Science and a Postgraduate Diploma in Archives and Records Management at undergraduate and the postgraduate levels. Regarding the inclusion of the specified 4IR technologies in their curriculum offerings, the study found that both the UB and the UFH were not included. The study recommends the inclusion of the specified 4IR technologies in the library and information science school to prepare graduates for the disruptive 4IR work environment.</p> Olefhile Mosweu, Sidney Netshakhuma Copyright (c) 2023 Tue, 14 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000 Unearthing archival climate change baseline data in southern and eastern Africa <p>This paper proposes that archives can play an important role in historical climatological<br>research. Major projects in Europe, such as CLIWOC, examine ship logbooks from the era<br>of sail. These sources provide critical weather-related data from the era before scientific<br>climatological measurements and surveys after World War I. Ship logbooks have proved to<br>be crucial sources that have been identified and digitised in major projects such as the<br>CLIWOC project. While CLIWOC has concentrated on the ships concerned of the European<br>maritime powers, their information is of worldwide relevance. This paper then looks at the<br>research that has been undertaken in South Africa and at the sources that have been<br>uncovered by local scientists. The paper also suggests further potential sources within South<br>Africa. Thereafter, the potential sources within the ESARBICA region are suggested with a<br>focus on the African Great Lakes. Finally, an ESARBICA-wide project similar to the<br>CLIWOC and TANAP projects is suggested, and it is proposed that ESARBICA approach<br>IORA for endorsement and funding.</p> Graham Dominy Copyright (c) 2023 Tue, 14 May 2024 00:00:00 +0000