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SKM Sierra Leone to spearhead Archive bill

SKM Sierra Leone to spearhead Archive bill

With funding from UNESCO, Society for Knowledge Management (SKM-SL) has intensified its advocacy for the repeal of the Public Archives Act, 1965.  In a recent stakeholders workshop, SKM-SL brought together a wide range of  professionals and educationists to look at the draft bill thoroughly before taking it to parliament.

Speaking at the opening session of a consultative workshop on the theme, “Taking Care of the Past and Looking Forward into the Future”, the Minister of Information and Communications, Alhaji Alpha Kanu, like his predecessor, Alhaji Ibrahim Ben Kargbo, supported the bill and the effort of SKM-SL.  He volunteered to spearhead the bill when it goes to the parliamentary stage to ensure that it is passed for the benefit of Sierra Leone.  He told SKM-SL that the word, “repeal,” will be ‘repeal” too strong for MPs and recommended the use of the word, “amend.” He noted that as one time MP, he is in the best place to lead the bill to parliament. As guest speaker, the minister commended SKM-SL for taking strides towards record management in the country. He said he had engaged UNESCO, the funding agency on the need for proper public archives and records management in the country.

Delivering the keynote address, the newly appointed Deputy Minister of Sports, Ismail Alsankoh Conteh, said the theme for the consultative workshop energized him to throw light on the need for proper records management in the country. He maintained that the country stands to derive resounding benefits if the draft bill is adopted and passed into law.

Professor Magnus John, in his statement, centered on Agent of Change and Continuity described the theme as being timely and relevant.

Speaking on the few recommendations, SKM-SL, Programmes Director, Umaru Bangura, responded that the recommendation made by the Minster of Information and Communications for the change of word from repeal to amend is splendid, noting that they appreciate whatever recommendation that can take them to their goal for the benefit of the country. He said they would continue to press on for the passing into law the National Public Archives Bill 2012.

 It could be recalled that SKM-SL has received $50,000 from Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) to train civil society organizations on knowledge exchange and this project, according to the Programmes Coordinator of SMK, Sahid Kamara, will benefit about thirty civil society organizations in Magburaka and Freetown.

Ilyasa Baa

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