About ITOCA

Our Vision

We envision an improved quality of life and sustainable development, in Africa through enhanced research and education.

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Our Core Values

Our core values are:

  • Integrity
  • Team work
  • Innovativeness
  • Result oriented
  • Commitment

Objectives

Information skills for researchers are key in research development. ITOCA undertakes capacity building for academic and scientific communities in Africa through:

  • Outreach and marketing of relevant ICT tools and programs.
  • Providing customised program consultancy and support for universities, government departments, communities of practice, NGOs and research institutions.
  • Assisting institutions to develop and formulate grant proposals for information programmes.
  • Providing tailored training for information resource programs such as TEEAL, AGORA, HINARI and OARE for specific organisations and groups.
  • Partnering with International organisations working in research development.
  • Undertaking marketing research and programme evaluation studies in ICT programmes.

Mission

To build capacity amongst the research and education communities in the latest information tools and advocate for the adoption of new technologies that drive development in Africa.

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Profile

ITOCA is aimed at providing, promoting and building capacity for scientists, researchers and information professionals on the use of electronic resources in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Established in February 1999, ITOCA’s main thrust is providing the research and academic communities with access to up-to-date affordable access to published scientific scholarly literature and develop required relevant skills. This is achieved through:

  • Undertaking and funding outreach programmes in ICT and related activities
  • Holding institutional and national training workshops, seminars and capacity building programmes
  • Assisting benefiting institutions develop ICT programmes and seek funding internationally to implement these programmes
  • Provide technical support to implemented programmes at participating institutions
  • Through access to up-to-date, internationally published scientific literature, developing countries stand to benefit in terms of improved research and development programs which lead to increased food production and food security.
  • ITOCA provides vehicles aimed at bridging the digital divide between the developed and developing countries in the fields of health and agriculture and related sciences

Background

Many agricultural and medical libraries in developing countries have not received any academic journals in over ten years. Other such libraries have been destroyed by war or economic and/or political havoc. Without access to current scientific information, scientists and doctors struggle – to keep up with advances in science and technology, to publish their own findings in peer-reviewed journals, to update their teaching curricula, to find funding, and in many other areas.

The demand for access to scientific literature in developing countries has gone unfulfilled for many years, and has led to the isolation of a generation of scientists from their peers.

Currently, the organisation runs four major programmes in Sub-Saharan Africa: TEEAL, AGORA, HINARI and OARE funded through grants from Cornell University, FAO, WHO, and CTA of Netherlands.

Meet The ITOCA Team

Gracian Chimwaza

Executive Director

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Gracian is the founding director and Executive Director of ITOCA. He holds a PhD in Information Science from the University of Pretoria (South Africa) and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) degree from Thames Valley University (United Kingdom). He has an electronic engineering background. In the last 20 years, Gracian has led extensive capacity development and research projects in many African countries focusing on digital libraries, knowledge exchange, data management, e-resources access, and information literacy programs. He serves on the Research4Life Executive Council, and is on several journal editorial boards. He has been an invited speaker in many international, regional and national-level policy meetings that address ICTs, knowledge sharing and capacity building in Africa.

Mercy Moyo

Senior Programme Officer (Research & Training)

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Mercy is an experienced library and information science specialist who holds a Masters in Information Sciences from University of South Africa (UNISA) and is currently studying towards a Doctorate in Philosophy – Information Science. Mercy joined ITOCA in 2006 and has moved up to the rank of Senior Program Officer. She has worked on most of ITOCA’s Projects including AGORA – AGRIS, Research4life, Friends of Chitambo, TEEAL, TAE, DAAD and CEPD projects. Mercy is exceptionally experienced in the areas of capacity building, information & knowledge management, data and metadata management, project management, research and has high coordination and administrative skills.

Amanda Makwangwaidze

             Finance and Admin Officer

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Amanda is passionate about the betterment of self and this aligns well with ITOCA’s tireless work to enhance research and education in Sub-Saharan Africa. She was a board member for ITOCA for six years and this ignited a desire to work directly on the day to day activities aimed at capacity building in Sub-Saharan Africa. Amanda joined ITOCA in 2008. She works in the Financial, Training as well as Administrative functions of ITOCA. She holds a Bachelor in Business Science from Monash University and is currently working towards her Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from Hariot Watt University- Edinburgh Business School.

Chiedza Manuel

  Digital Marketing Officer

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Chiedza has experience in the visual arts field and joined ITOCA in 2017 as a Digital Marketing Officer. She holds a Bachelor in Fine Art from the University of Cape Town. Amongst other things Chiedza has a background in photography, curating as well as design. She is involved in managing ITOCA’s social media presence, marketing relevant projects online as well as aiding in capacity building projects.

Monicca Mohlamonyane

Assistant Program Officer (Research & IT)

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Monicca believes in the design, development and implementation of computer networks for data processing and communication. Monicca is an Assistant Program Officer (Research & IT Systems) who holds a Bachelor degree in Information Technology from Belgium Campus. Monicca joined ITOCA in 2018 and is involved in IT related projects, research skills training and data coding projects. 

Marcia Mabhula

Assistant Program Officer (Research & Training)

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Marcia joined ITOCA in 2018 as a Assistant Program Officer (Research & Training). She holds a Bachelor in Library and Information Science (honours) from the University of Fort Hare. She is an experienced library and information professional who is of the strong view that more resources need to be dedicated in fighting against the existing information gap especially in Sub Sahara Africa. Marcia is currently involved in a number of capacity building projects at ITOCA.

Tammy Erasmus

Finance and Admin Officer

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Tammy joined ITOCA in 2011 and is responsible for Accounting and Administration work at ITOCA. She has extensive experience with accounting and finance having worked for over 20 years in the motor industry in South Africa.

Prof. Bamidele Fawole

ITOCA West Africa Representative
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Dele is the ITOCA Representative in West Africa. He has done outreach and training work for the TEEAL program in West Africa for the past six years and has visited virtually all countries in the sub-region.

Dele obtained his B. Sc. (Agric.) (Hons.) degree in 1972 from the University of Ibadan (UI), Nigeria. He proceeded to Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, U. S. A. for postgraduate studies immediately after graduation from UI and he obtained the M. S. (Plant Pathology) and Ph. D. (Plant Nematology) degrees in 1975 and 1977, respectively. He is currently a Professor of Nematology in the Department of Crop Protection and Environmental Biology at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria.

Advisory Board

ITOCA (Information Training and Outreach Centre for Africa) is headed by an Advisory Board constituted by international professionals who are passionate about ICT for development work in Africa.

  • Mr. Jonah Mungoshi, Floodtide (Zimbabwe) – Board Chair
  • Mr. Jon Gregson, Development Dreamers (UK)
  • Dr. Gracian Chimwaza, ITOCA (South Africa)
  • Ms. Elizabeth Dodsworth, CABI (UK)
  • Prof Willis Oluoch-Kosura, University of Nairobi (Kenya)
  • Prof Derek Law, (UK)
  • Prof Patrick Ngulube, University of South Africa (South Africa)
  • Ms. Mary A. Ochs, Cornell University (USA)
  • Dr. Daisy Selematsela, University of South Africa (South Africa)
  • Prof Fanuel Tagwira, Africa University (Zimbabwe)

Find out more about our training courses.