Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Excitement for KM/Knowledge Services in Eastern Africa

Kenya’s Young KM Enthusiasts Have Projects Ready to Go

The latest SMR International e-Profile takes a look at the Information Africa Organization (IAO), reflecting on the potential that this exciting new initiative has for KM/knowledge sharing in Eastern Africa, as well as for Kenya’s role in the global economy.

Among programs currently being given attention is a plan to capture agricultural information from village elders and others who have traditionally shared their skills and management expertise through oral tradition and apprenticeships. The current plan is the focus of a group of ambitious pioneering students who have come up with a vision for capturing indigenous agricultural knowledge for posterity.  Nerisa Kamar and Geoffrey Opile, pictured here, are part of a group studying agricultural information at Egerton University, located in Njoro, near Nakuru in the Rift Valley Province, and the driving force for their concept was the title of a recent course – Agricultural Knowledge Management – in which students were exposed to information gaps in agriculture that have led to a decline in agricultural productivity. Opile, a lecturer at the Rift Valley Technical Institute and Kamar, a consultant in The Sergio Vieira de Mello United Nations Library at Nairobi, are working with other students to bring the idea to the implementation stage, with the goal of capturing and disseminating agricultural information and knowledge for sustainability.

It is a perfect role for educated young Kenyans who are looking to not only build careers for themselves but to contribute to the national well being. As these young people learn about ICT and the principles of KM/knowledge services, and then use what they learn as they interact with local citizens who have knowledge to share, everyone stands to gain, at all levels of Kenya’s society.

 The January, 2010 SMR e-Profile can be accessed directly. It is also available at SMRShare, SMR International’s knowledge capture site. Readers can connect with Kamar and Opile through LinkedIn, and they actively seek information and advice from others interested in this work.

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