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 20. December 2012 Tell a Friend Feedback Unsubscribe

Happy Holidays and a happy new year!


Agricultural Research Productivity Survey

Thank you for participating in the Agricultural Research Productivity Survey. Research productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa has many hindrances which affect the development of the region’s agriculture sector. As such there is a need to understand the factors that affect the research productivity in order to come up with useful interventions and solutions to the challenges.

The TEEAL (The Essential Electronic Agricultural Library) Project at Cornell University (USA) and ITOCA (Information Training & Outreach Centre for Africa) of South Africa were conducting this survey in order to:

  1. Understand the factors that motivate African scientists in the agricultural sciences;
  2. Understand the factors that influence and assist research and teaching; and
  3. Determine the needs researchers have in order to be more productive researchers and/or integrate research information into your teaching activities.

We are pleased to announce that five respondents who completed the questionnaires have been randomly selected to receive a raffle prize of USD$100 each, congratulations!

The winners were:

  • Dr Mrs Olajumoke, O.O. Adewumi
  • Smith Olusiji Frederick
  • Raymond Mdachi
  • Mlipha Skhumbuzo
  • Linus Ndonga

IAALD-Africa Conference 2012
The 3rd IAALD Africa Chapter Conference was held at Emperors’ Palace in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 21st – 23rd May 2012. It saw a wide audience of professionals from agricultural and related sciences come together from all parts of Africa and beyond to discuss and share best practices.
The main speakers represented government policy makers, industry, international development community, rural development practitioners, as well as researchers and graduate students from the agricultural and rural development field, including ICT. They presented and discussed the latest topics in e-agriculture and shared their experiences and lessons learned in the implementation of e-agriculture initiatives.
The conference activities comprised of exhibitions showcasing e-agriculture initiatives and activities; pre-conference workshops, seminars and training; and the main conference included presentations and panel discussions. Prior to the conference, an online global discussion on e-Agriculture in Africa was organized on the platform.
IAALD Africa Chapter was established on 26 May 2006, in Nairobi, Kenya. It is a forum of individuals and organizations involved in creating, capturing, accessing, disseminating information and knowledge concerning agriculture and rural development in Africa.

WIPO-ITOCA Collaboration
WIPO- the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) carried out workshops in African  countries to support innovation through patent searching as well as promote its own portal ARDi, the newest member of Research4Life. ITOCA attended these workshops and slots were allocated for training on ResearchLife programmes as follows:

Zambia, 9-11 July 2012
The series of WIPO workshops on Patent Information-search strategies and techniques continued in 2012 with the first workshop being held in Lusaka Zambia at the Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants. 43 participants attended this workshop and Mr M. Chimalizeni of ITOCA demonstrated Research4Life products. The Zambian Minister of Science and Technology gave the official opening address of the workshop.
Knowledge for development was the cross-cutting theme at the workshop, with participants being encouraged to take advantage of patent information which is in the public domain to drive innovative solutions to social problems in developing countries.

Zimbabwe, 4-6 September 2012
The 2nd follow-up workshop for Zimbabwe was held at the Africa Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (ARIPO) offices in Harare. The Deputy Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs, Honourable Obert Gutu gave the opening address. 29 participants attended the workshop from government departments, academic institutions and the SME sector.

Namibia Research for Life and TEEAL Workshop a success!
The Research4Life (R4L) Training-of-Trainer Workshop was held at the University of Namibia (UNAM) in Windhoek, Namibia from 12 to 15 March 2012. The workshop was organized by ITOCA and UNAM with funding from WHO WHO/AFRO Health Sciences Library and Documentation Centre. It was attended by faculty and librarians from selected universities and government departments in Namibia.
The aim of the course was to impart skills on access and use of electronic resources focusing on Research4Life and TEEAL programs. Most of the participants to the workshop were familiar with AGORA, HINARI and OARE but still they found the workshop extremely useful and expressed that the enhance skills in effective searching and other features would have a positive impact on their work. The mixture of Power Point presentations and hands-on exercises made the understanding of how to get the best out of the programmes easier. The main objective of the workshop was to empower participants to better utilize electronic resources available to them through R4L and spearhead the promotion of the e-resources upon returning to their home institutions.

The workshop had a rich pool of participants drawn from faculty and Libraries of selected institutions in Namibia including UNAM, National Archives and the Ministry of Education, Division of Community Libraries. The participants were mainly librarians. For the numerous academic reference librarians, it was critical to cross train them in accessing information from the various Research4Life (R4L) programs. This group of 28 was equally divided between the two tracks of health and agriculture/environment.
The University Librarian Ms Ellen Ndeshi Namhila gave the opening address expressing her appreciation for the workshop being finally held in Namibia immediately after changing status from a group B to a group A country. The four-day workshop targeted lecturers, researchers and librarians as brokers of the information. The main facilitators of the workshop were Professor Lenny Rhine from Librarians Without Borders (LWB) and Michael Chimalizeni from ITOCA.

CEPD Online courses
ITOCA’s Continuing Education and Professional Development (CEPD) programme introduced online courses for five of its core courses towards the end of 2011. This option for e-learning has been very popular and widely accepted and has seen many professionals improve their knowledge and skills. The e-learning platform offers one an opportunity to learn in a flexible and self-paced environment as most courses are run up to 4 weeks.
The e-learning courses that are available and have been running throughout the year include Grant Writing, Records Management, Monitoring and Evaluation, Marketing and Information Literacy. The platforms used to develop these courses are very interactive, friendly and easy to use. For more information on the courses and how to enroll please visit the CEPD page at .

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.