DISA: an African Perspective on Digital Technology

  • Michele Pickover
  • Dale Peters


Digital technology is a driving force behind many changes occurring globally in higher education. The pilot digital imaging project in South Africa, DISA, has developed tools for capacity building to support new ways of learning and research to meet a changing model of education. Digital technologies offer a new paradigm, preserving the original by providing access to the digital surrogate, separating informational content from physical medium and liberating preservation management from constraints of poor storage environments typical of the tropical and sub-tropical climates of Africa. The lure of financial aid has, however, spawned what might be perceived as a new form of cultural imperialism in the guise of preservation and access: an imperialistic and colonising culture of digital technology. This paper defines an approach to building digital research resources that assesses both the strengths and weaknesses of the current state of digital imaging technology in South Africa with due consideration to the ethical issues and the social context of the African continent.

(Innovation: 2002 24: 14-20)

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1025-8892