The IFLA Sub-Saharan African Regional Division Committee (IFLA SSA RDC) is bringing together 30 LIS professionals from Rwanda and neighbouring countries to a physical advocacy workshop in Kigali Public Library. This workshop is organised in the context of the UN Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development.

How does a library professional do advocacy for Voluntary National Reviews? How can libraries drive SDGs? What does professional networking mean? What is IFLA’s role and benefits? The workshop facilitators aim at demonstrating the role of professional networks in library service development and service delivery; equipping participants with advocacy skills and demonstrating learning and supportive opportunities that the Rwanda LIS professionals can gain from being affiliated to IFLA. 30 LIS professionals originated from the Sub-Saharan Africa region will dive into these exciting discussions and will hopefully share a bit of their conclusions with the global community. Stay tuned!


Dr. Victoria Okojie is a Member of the IFLA Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Division Committee. She is also a lecturer at the Department of Library and Information Science at the University of Abuja and an International Advisory Committee Member of the UNESCO Memory of the World Programme. Dr. Victoria Okojie has been working in the Library and Information sector for over 30years, with experience in both teaching and practice. She currently lectures at the University of Abuja, Nigeria and is a Member of the International Advisory Committee of UNESCO Memory of the World Programme. She has worked at the University of Ibadan Library; The Birtish Council; as an independent consultant and as Registrar/CEO, Librarians’ Registration Council of Nigeria. Dr. Okojie was formerly President, Nigerian Library Association; Chair, IFLA Africa Section and IFLA Division V; Member, IFLA Governing Board; Member, Governing Board, National Library of Nigeria and Adviser, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Global Libraries Programme. She is a Fellow of the US State Department, International Visitor Leadership Program; Fellow, Nigerian Library Association and Associate, IFLA International Leaders Programme. Dr. Okojie has published over 30 peer-reviewed papers, attended over 200 conferences and has received over 15 awards. Victoria has a strong passion in advocating for Library and Information Services issues, mentoring young librarians and promoting universal access to information.

Mandla Ntombela is the Chief Executive Officer/Director of the South African Library for the Blind (SALB). Currently he is also a member of the IFLA Governing Board. He has served numerous leadership roles and professional bodies’ involvement in his career, such as the President of the African Library and Information Association and Institution (AfLIA) – May 2019 to 2021 and President of the Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA) – 2016 to 2018. He holds a Masters of Library and Information Studies University of KwaZulu Natal (2006).

At the age of 19, Damilare Oyedele started to mobilize his friends as volunteers to work towards community library projects. He commenced by publishing articles in Nigerian daily newspapers about the importance of libraries in our society. This initiative later grew into a not-for-profit organization called Library Aid Africa which he now heads as the Co-Founder & Chief Executive. For the past 4 years, he and his team have focused on advocacy and support for the resuscitation of libraries in schools and communities – leveraging digital technology and citizen engagement approaches to drive projects and policy reforms for libraries in over 10 African countries. More so, he serves on Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Committee of The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), where he leads on Global Advocacy Priorities. Currently, he is a MasterCard Foundation Scholar at The African Leadership University, studying Global Challenges, with a research focus on library policy and legislation in sub-Saharan Africa. Learn more and reach out to Damilare: Twitter & Instagram: @damoyedele

Ayanda A. B. Lebele holds a PhD (Library and Information Science) from University of South Africa (UNISA). From the University of Botswana (UB) she attained two masters’ qualifications, Library and Information Science; and Development Studies respectively.  She also has BA (Humanities) and a secondary school teaching diploma.  This litany of medals demonstrates Dr Lebele’s appetite for continued professional development. She has almost 30 years’ librarianship experience with notable footprint in school, public, special, and academic libraries of different sizes and administrative make up. Her passion to learn from service also landed her as a year long  volunteer at the African Union Library, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Dr Lebele’s scholarly work is mainly informed by here participatory observations in the interdisciplinary librarianship. she has engaged in different professional platforms on the subjects of informatics, internet governance; stakeholder engagement ;  Institutional repositories and library service provision during the Covid 19 pandemic. Lebele has grown into a strong advocate of transformative library services. She is the Vice Chair of the Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Division at the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA); has membership in multiple professional development bodies: At country level The Palapye Librarians Forum & The Botswana Library Association (BLA).  International ones being the Library & Information Association of South Africa (LIASA); and African Library Information Associations and Institutions (AfLIA) and a committee member of the IFLA- Reference & Information Services Section.