ITOCA (Information Training and Outreach Centre for Africa) is Africa’s leading librarians training organization based in Africa.ITOCA is a capacity building organization aimed at enhancing information and communications technology (ICT) skills for African librarians,information specialists, scientists, researchers and students in Sub-Sahara Africa. Formerly, TEEAL Africa Office, ITOCA Albert R. Mann Library TEEAL programmefor Africa. The organization, which has professionals in 3 countries (Nigeria, Uganda, and Zimbabwe) and liaison contacts in 35 was established in Feb. 1999 as a marketing and support office for Cornell University’s African countries, has trained over 1,000 information professionals,in 33 Sub-Sahara Africa countries in the last seven years.ITOCA , with backstopping from the TEEAL and AGORA projects at Mann Library (Cornell University) and FAO, the HINARI project at WHO and ORAE project at UNEP has a mandate to carry out outreach and training activities that promote the successful adoption and use of these three programs throughout Africa.
Issue No 19. November 2011 Tell a Friend Feedback Unsubscribe
The last half of the year has been exciting for ITOCA with a mixed bag of national workshops, outreach activities (conferences, paper presentations and publications), institutional workshops and collaborative work with some of the leading development organisations. We would also like to thank the Cornell Mann Library Team: TEEAL Director , Baseema Krkoska; Digital Collections Librarian, Joy Paulson; Public Relations and Outreach Librarian, Jim Morris-Knower and the TEEAL Production Coordinator Jennifer Gibson for making trips to Africa and assist with various projects.

ITOCA East Africa Office Activities
Information Literacy workshop hosted by Haramaya University
Information Training and Outreach Centre for Africa (ITOCA) and Albert R. Mann Library, Cornell University (Mann Library) of USA collaborated with the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) in organizing and delivering an Information Literacy (IL) Training-of-Trainer (ToT) course in Ethiopia focusing on the use of electronic library information resources in education, research and training. The workshop was hosted by Haramaya University during 26-27 September 2011 at the Haramaya University resource centre in Dire Dawa. Twenty-nine participants including university management, faculty, librarians and IT officers attended the IL two-day course.

Agricultural Information and Knowledge Sharing Workshop
The regional training workshop on Agricultural Information and knowledge Exchange was organised by ITOCA (Information Training and Outreach Centre for Africa) in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) regional Office for Africa. The workshop was held at the Fairview Hotel in Nairobi during 20 – 22 July 2011. The workshop brought together participants from countries in the Eastern and Southern Africa. Participants were drawn from Ethiopia, Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi. Although invitations were extended to ministries of Agriculture in Eritrea, Rwanda and Burundi, these ministries did not nominate participants to represent their countries at the workshop. There were a total of ten (10) participants at the workshop. The aim of the workshop was to introduce heads of agricultural information departments to digital agricultural information management and knowledge exchange guidelines, standards and tools recommended by FAO and partners. The workshop specifically focused on: Management and dissemination/sharing of metadata and full-text documents; and Knowledge sharing methods and tools.

Higher Education Management training for managers of newly established university colleges and campuses in Kenya
DIES-REAL-Alumni training for managers of newly established university colleges and campuses in Kenya workshop was held during 26 -28 October 2011 at Pwani University College. The workshop was organised by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the National Council of Science and Technology (NCST), the Information training and Outreach Centre for Africa (ITOCA) and University of Kassel. The workshop brought together 25 university managers from the newly established university colleges in Kenya. Some of the topics covered at the workshop include:

  • The Role of Managers in Higher Education Institutions in Development and Implementation of Curriculum for quality knowledge management.
  • Governance and Policy Framework: University Governance-Steps towards a successful University
  • Academic leadership and Proposal Development in Higher Education
  • E-resources: Transforming University Libraries in Kenya

Institutional level Training workshops
Training workshops on TEEAL and Research4life Programmes were organised at the College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences (UoN-CAVS); Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (Taita Taveta Campus) and at Kenyatta University. The training workshops were held as follows:

  • University of Nairobi –CAVS: 25th May 2011. A total of 25 post graduate students attended the training.
  • Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (Taita Taveta Campus): 9-10 June 2011: Target group- Undergraduate Students. A total of 30 students attended the training
  • Kenyatta University: 7-8 September 2011. Target group for this workshop were academic staff, and post graduate students from the Department of Food, Nutrition and Dietetics. A total of 32 participants attended the two day training.
  • Bondo University College – The training was conducted within the institutions “Proposal Writing Workshop”. A two hour session was slotted in the programme to allow the ITOCA facilitator to sensitize participants about the R4Life programmes, TEEAL and other e-resources that are available to faculty and researchers. The proposal writing workshop was held during 13 -14 September 2011 at Bondo University. The presentation on e-resources was done on the 13th September 2011.

ITOCA West Africa Office Activities

The TEEAL/Research4LifeTraining workshop is scheduled to be held in Accra, Ghana on November 1–3, 2011. Participants will come from the agriculture, health and environmental sciences divisions. Invitations are being sent and applications are still open. The venue of the national workshop is CSIR-INSTI. For more information please visit the ITOCA website.

We would like to welcome Ms. Abiola Oke, a Research Scientist with the National Horticultural Research Institute (NIHORT), Ibadan. Abiola has come on board as the new ITOCA Assistant Representative for West Africa. She replaces Dr. Abiodun Claudius-Cole, a Lecturer at the University of Ibadan.


ITOCA Southern Africa Office Activities

The University of Zambia hosted a 5-day workshop from 8-12 August 2011. The workshop was divided into two legs, with the first leg (8-9 August) covering Information Literacy training (in collaboration with Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture  (RUFORUM)) for senior staff and the second leg providing E-resources training for other faculty members and Librarians. A combined total of 32 participants benefited from this training and 6 higher learning institutions were represented from all corners of Zambia.
Christine Kanyengo the Deputy Librarian of UNZA gave welcoming remarks to the participants and set the tone for the rest of the workshop. The opening ceremony closed by Nodumo Dlamini of RUFORUM urging utilization of the tools that various stake-holders have invested in for the benefit of African Universities and research institutions.

Mozambique’s Eduardo Mondlane University (UEM) hosted a 5-day workshop from 3-7 October 2011. The workshop had two days focused on Information Literacy and this was achieved with the special collaboration of the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM). This workshop attracted 33 participants from 4 institutions from in and around Maputo. The objectives of these workshops were to:

  • Introduce the basics of Information Literacy
  • Discuss how a curriculum for information literacy can be developed by the Universities
  • Develop skills for assessing information literacy
  • Brainstorm the best strategies for institutionalising information literacy
  • Empower participants with requisite skills and knowledge to use TEEAL/Research4life products and spear-head training on e-resources at their home institutions.

The participants had a very rich mix of areas of specializations and levels of education which included lecturers, researchers and Librarians. One participant had this to say, “The workshop was a pleasure, it’s now left to us participants to get others involved at our institutions”.

ITOCA organised a one-day TEEAL integration workshop at Harare Polytechnic on 12 October 2011. The aim of the workshop was to equip faculty and Librarians with effective database search skills as well as familiarize them with their newly acquired TEEAL set. A total of 17 lecturers and librarians from every faculty at the college attended the workshop hosted by the faculty of Science and Technology.

The Head Librarian Mr E. Makowe gave the opening speech where he outlined the future vision of the college saying that as an institution they are consciously moving away from traditional print resources to e-learning. He pointed out that the acquisition of the TEEAL set was a first in a number of initiatives aimed at realising and supporting e-learning at Harare Polytechnic.
Zimbabwe’s Harare Agricultural Show

ITOCA also partnered with the University of Zimbabwe’s Library to conduct an E-resource guidance workshop at the Harare campus and hold a library exhibition at this year’s Harare Agricultural show. Commenting on the support from ITOCA, the Agriculture Faculty Librarian said, “…I would like to thank you all for your support on the E-Resources guidance workshop and the Library’s  exhibition at the Agriculture show. We greatly appreciate your support and look forward to working with you as we seek to improve on our e-resource usage statistics, LanTEEAL among others”.

WINNERS ANNOUNCED: TEEAL Graduate Student Research Paper Competition 2011!!
The TEEAL Project is very excited to announce the final outcome of the recent graduate student research paper competition!
More than 85 papers were submitted to the competition, and 36 papers met all the eligibility requirements and were submitted by the contest deadline. A distinguished panel of three judges drawn from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University reviewed all the research papers.  Judging criteria included:  clarity of thesis development, methodology, quality of analysis, and completeness and diversity of references. After the papers were reviewed and scored by each judge, they were returned to the TEEAL Project Office for final review and the calculation of the final score for each paper. Anonymity of contestants was strictly maintained.
Please join us in congratulating the winners listed below! For more information please go here.
CATEGORY 1: Best research paper by a PhD student – first prize $1000 and second prize $500

  • FIRST PRIZE: Nouhoun BELKO — Regional Research Center for Improvement of Crops Adaptation to Drought (CERAAS) / Sénégal
  • SECOND PRIZE: LAURA C. OKPALA — Ebonyi State University, Department of Food Science and Technology / Nigeria

CATEGORY 2: Best research paper by an MSc student – first prize $500 and second prize $250
FIRST PRIZE: we have a tie for first prize!

  • FIRST PRIZE (tie): Ogero Kwame Okinyi — Kenyatta University, School of Agriculture and Enterprise Development / Kenya
  • FIRST PRIZE (tie): Olagoke Ayobami Olaniyi — University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (UNAAB) / Nigeria
  • SECOND PRIZE: Catherine Kadogo Kitonde — University of Nairobi, School of Biological Sciences / Kenya


A productive 2011 and fulfilling 2012
ITOCA’s director, board of members and staff would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all the support you have given us in this productive 2011. We look forward to a better and more fulfilling year in 2012 and we will keep on striving to be the best in our field. A merry Christmas to you all and a blessed new year!

TEEAL (The Essential Electronic Agricultural Library) program is an innovative scholarly scientific database developed specifically for agricultural and natural resource scientists, lecturers and students in developing countries by Cornell University in association with the Rockefeller Foundation, NY, USA. TEEAL, available on CD-ROM and on a hard disk that can be put on your Local Area Network, gives access to full-text literature from the world’s leading publishers.

AGORA (Access to Global Online Research in Agriculture) is an online program that gives educational, government departments and not-for-profit organizations, in selected developing countries instant online access to over 900 journals in agriculture and related sciences for free. Led by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, in collaboration with Cornell University, WHO and the Rockefeller Foundation, the goal of AGORA is to increase the quality and effectiveness of agricultural research and training in low-income countries, and in turn, to improve food security. Researchers, policy-makers, educators, students, technical workers and extension specialists now have access to high-quality, relevant and timely agricultural information via the Internet.

The Health InterNetwork Access to Research Initiative (HINARI) is part of the United Nation’s Health InterNetwork (HIN) project, and is coordinated by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the lead agency. It is a collaboration between the WHO, publishers and other health care content owners intended to provide biomedical and health care research and guideline information to non profit academic and research institutions, governmental and policy making departments in low income countries. Access to this information will generally be provided at low cost or in most cases free by the Publisher, to institutions in many countries with a Gross National Product (GNP) per capita of US $1,000 or less according to the World Bank Report, December 1999.

Online Access to Research in the Environment (OARE) an international public-private consortium coordinated by by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Yale University, and leading science and technology publishers, enables developing countries to gain free access to one of the world’s largest collections of environmental science literature. Over one thousand scientific journal titles owned and published by over 200 prestigious publishing houses, scholarly societies, and scientific associations are now available in 70 low income countries. Another 36 countries will be added by 2008. Research is provided in a wide range of disciplines, including biotechnology, botany, climate change, ecology, energy, environmental chemistry, environmental economics, environmental engineering and planning, environmental law and policy, environmental toxicology and pollution, geography, geology, hydrology, meteorology, oceanography, urban planning, zoology, and many others.