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Article
Publication date: 20 November 2017

Brendan Eze Asogwa and Ifeanyi Jonas Ezema

Agitation for adoption of freedom of access to government information is an emerging issue in Africa and has gathered momentum since 2000 when South Africa passed the…

1209

Abstract

Purpose

Agitation for adoption of freedom of access to government information is an emerging issue in Africa and has gathered momentum since 2000 when South Africa passed the first freedom of information (FoI) law in the continent. This paper aims to discuss the extent of passage of FoI laws in Africa, the reality of their implementation in some of the countries and the critical challenges and recommendations.

Design/methodology/approach

A document analysis approach was adopted for gathering vital information on the realities and challenges of FoI implementation in Africa. Literature on the concepts, principles and practice of FoI were reviewed, and relevant facts and figures were extracted to buttress the authors’ argument.

Findings

Only 14 (25.5 per cent) of the 55 countries in Africa had signed FoI law as on January 31, 2015; 16 (29.0 per cent) are still lobbying, while 25 (45.5 per cent) of the states had no significant plan yet. Political factors like colonial legacy, poor leadership, inexperienced record managers for the implementation of FoI Acts (FoIA), corruption and hydra-headed clauses such as “national security, and other privacy rights” impede access to government records in Africa. The paper recommended among others that African countries should amend restrictive laws that continue to impede full implantation of FoI laws.

Practical implications

Implementation of the provisions in the FoIA in Africa will not be realistic unless those restrictive clauses that hinder citizens from freely accessing government information are reviewed in line with free access to information.

Originality/value

This paper appears to be the first to review the status of FoIA in Africa since the first right to information laws were signed in the continent.

Details

Records Management Journal, vol. 27 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-5698

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 January 2016

Brendan Eze Asogwa, Cyprian Ifeanyi Ugwu and Anthonia Nkechi Idoko

The use of the internet and World Wide Web to source information is now an emerging practice in developing countries and seems to be obscuring the use of printed resources…

1664

Abstract

Purpose

The use of the internet and World Wide Web to source information is now an emerging practice in developing countries and seems to be obscuring the use of printed resources in libraries. This paper aims to investigate the impacts of internet services on the use of prints in academic libraries in Nigeria.

Design/methodology/approach

The design of the study was ex post facto. The population of the study was the 131,670 students registered in the library from 2005 to 2014 academic sessions. The instruments for data collection were documentary records, oral interviews and observations. Statistics of past physical transactions at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Libraries University of Nigeria, Nsukka, were consulted and adapted for the study. Tables, graphs and a benchmark for assessment guided the analysis and discussion of the data.

Findings

Readers’ registrations, average daily readership and consultation of theses/dissertations were among the physical services that are multiplying and exerting pressures on existing facilities in the library. Books and periodicals consulted were constantly declining since the advent of internet services. Academic libraries in Nigeria should be adequately funded to sustain information and communication technology (ICT) backbone for internet usage and better marketing and stabilization of library services to retain users in academic libraries.

Practical implications

Increased availability of full-text online could force academic libraries in developing countries to cancel much of their online subscriptions. Serious efforts must be embarked by academic libraries to bring back the users to the library.

Originality/value

This article is the first to investigate the impacts of internet usage on printed resources in academic libraries in Nigeria. The originality lies in its contribution to internet use on information resources in academic libraries in developing regions.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 34 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 30 September 2014

Brendan Eze Asogwa

The purpose of this paper is to measure the competencies of libraries in Nigerian universities, identify constraints to their performance and recommend infrastructures and…

1690

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to measure the competencies of libraries in Nigerian universities, identify constraints to their performance and recommend infrastructures and competencies required. Institutional accreditation has compelled academic libraries in Nigerian to improve their quality, competencies and performances for accountability.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire was the main instrument for data collection. The population of the study was all the university librarians in the 89 universities in Nigeria that the author selected from federal, state and private universities. Of the 81 sets of questionnaires emailed, 49 were returned, which represents a 60.5 per cent response rate and provides the working population of the study. Data were analysed using frequency tables, simple percentages and bar charts.

Findings

The results indicate that academic libraries and librarians in Nigeria are competent in three key areas – educational roles, professional development and research. However, they are not very effective in the provision and use of library resources in cyberspace, adequate funding, collection development and information technology skills. The main constraints are: poor Internet penetration, low bandwidth, unreliable power supply and weak Internet proficiency. This paper suggests that adequate funding, benchmark performance and multi-skilling can serve as strategies against these constraints in developing regions.

Practical implications

This study contributes to library staff assessment because it links strategic objectives to performance measures and associated long-term targets. It broadens issues which affect sustainable performance in academic libraries in Nigeria, as well as in Africa and other developing countries.

Originality/value

While performance measurement is well established in developed countries, it is less or not so well established in Nigeria and other developing countries. The current research seeks to develop a performance measurement framework for academic libraries that is testable and expandable to Nigeria and the whole African context.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 32 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 November 2013

Brendan Eze Asogwa

The purpose of this study was to survey the level of readiness of three universities in Nigeria towards managing their digital records by assessing the e-records…

5030

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to survey the level of readiness of three universities in Nigeria towards managing their digital records by assessing the e-records frameworks, infrastructures, and structural facilities that are available.

Design/methodology/approach

The population of the study was 30 staff of the Registry Department in three Nigerian universities. Questionnaires, oral interviews, and check list were used during data collection. Data were analyzed using frequency tables, simple percentages, and bar charts.

Findings

The paper found that universities in Nigeria are not ready to manage electronic records due to weak legislative and organizational frameworks. The paper recommends creation of awareness about e-records management, training of records personnel, adoption of hybrid records management and periodic auditing, provision of sustainable framework and infrastructure, among other things in Nigerian universities.

Research limitations/implications

This study was carried out on only three out of more than 20 federal universities in Nigeria. Therefore, the sample size and geographical spread was inadequate for generalization of the findings.

Practical implications

The paper demonstrates that, without proper planning and adoption of various international standards for records management, e-records created using modern technologies are likely to be inaccessible in Nigerian universities in future and consequently, the ability to remain accountable to the citizens will be compromised.

Originality/value

The study exposed the simple tools and strategies for assessing a university's readiness before embarking on electronic records management in a digital age. The paper will serve as a catalyst to further discussion and research into e-records and archives management in Nigeria. It will lead to other records management initiatives in the library, archives and information management.

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