First International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management in Kenya focuses on information ethics
Information and knowledge are key pillars of organizational performance, excellence, competitiveness, growth and innovation. Despite being recognized in development plans of many countries, many challenges, including ethical, still hamper effective development, management and utilisation of information and knowledge management for knowledge societies.
UNESCO supported the Technical University of Kenya (TUK) to hold the 1st International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management from 24 to 26 August 2016 in Nairobi, Kenya. Themed “Transformative Information and Knowledge Management for Sustainable Development”, the three-day conference provided participants with a platform to contribute to and benefit from the discourses on how best the academia, government and even private sector can integrate information ethics in the theory and practice of information and knowledge management.
During the conference Prof. Joseph Kiplagat, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Administration, Planning and Infrastructure at the Technical University of Kenya, welcomed the participants to the conference. “This conference is a first one in Kenya and it comes at a critical time, when there is a need for new reflections about both practice and research in the information and knowledge management field in Kenya, Africa and the world. We are particularly grateful to UNESCO for providing us with support to organize this first International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management in Kenya,” he said.
According to Prof. Adeline Du Toit, keynote speaker at the conference and an extraordinary professor at the University of Pretoria, Department of Information Sciences, “technology and innovation are important sources of competitive advantage and stimuli for economic growth and, therefore, African countries should endeavour to improve their competitiveness by developing a culture of knowledge management in their various institutions and organizations.”
Information ethics were at the core of discussions: panellists and participants debated about moral theories; dilemmas, challenges and remedies in the field of information ethics in Africa; and networking and alliance building to enhance access to information in the African society.
Dr Ochola reminded participants of the key role that the Africa Network on Information Ethics is playing in alliance building among academic institutions in Africa. The Network promotes understanding of information ethics through critical reflection on moral values and practices with regard to the production, storage, distribution and access to information and knowledge for a people-centred, inclusive, development-oriented information society.
The Network’s activities include: encouraging international and intercultural dialogue on information ethics; mobilizing academic researches on information ethics; and fostering greater participation of African scholars in the field of information ethics within the international scholarly community.
International and local academics, information and knowledge management practitioners, policy makers and students presented papers in five panels on the following topics: indigenous knowledge; e-governance; records management; information and knowledge management education; social media in information and knowledge management; knowledge sharing and diffusion; role and impact of information and knowledge centres; digital trends in information and knowledge management; legal and ethical issues in information and knowledge management; emerging trends in libraries and information centres. The papers will be published in revered scholarly journals for knowledge sharing and advancement of information and knowledge management in Kenya and in Africa.
This activity was organized within the framework of UNESCO’s support to enable universal access and preservation of information and knowledge, and building capacities for the use of ICT for sustainable, knowledge-based development enhanced through the implementation of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) outcomes.
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