The IFLA Sub-Saharan African Regional Division Committee (IFLA SSA RDC) is inviting you to a live Panel Discussion under the theme “Building forward better: Africa library partnerships for inclusive information and education towards Agendas 2030 and 2063”. This Panel Discussion is organised in the context of the UN Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development.

Libraries are trusted providers of information, and spaces for research, skills formation and community development, contributing to progress across the SDGs, as highlighted by the recent UN Public Service Award to the Ghana Library Service. They bring unique contributions to partnerships.

IFLA works to bring about a united global library field powering literate, informed and participatory societies. It focuses strongly on the SDGs as a framework for structuring and maximising the positive impact of libraries on societies, and building awareness and partnerships. IFLA’s SSA RDC plays a vital role in building capacity for learning and defining regional action plans and local advocacy priorities that respond to Africa’s needs, with reference also to the 2063 Agenda. It emphasizes the transformational role that information and informed societies can play in accelerating achievement of the SDGs in Africa.

In this Panel Discussion speakers from inside and outside of the library field, across Africa, will first identify development challenges created or intensified by COVID-19, and explore how partnerships involving libraries have helped provide innovative and effective responses. The Panel Discussion will be moderated by Victoria Okojie.

Responding to a series of questions, panellists will share lessons and insights about the unique potential of partnering with libraries, and what is needed to unlock this. The floor will be open to participants to contribute their insights and ask questions.

Join us in this Panel Discussion to be held from 14:00 to 15:30 UTC (see what time this is for you) on 25 February 2022.


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.


Dr. Albert Byamugisha is Head of the SDG Secretariat and a Senior Technical Adviser on SDGs at the Office of the Prime minister in Kampala, Uganda. Albert Byamugisha is currently responsible for steering the coordination function and supporting the oversight in the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) coordination framework in Uganda and progress of the 2030 Agenda; building strategic partnerships with the Private Sector on financing and innovation for the SDGs and providing technical support, advice and expertise to Ministries, Departments and Agencies, Private Sector, Civil Society, and Academic Institutions to accelerate the implementation of the SDG agenda.

Dr. Helena Asamoah- Hassan is the Executive Director of the African Library and Information Associations and Institutions (AfLIA). Prior to this, she was the University Librarian of the Kwame University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana. She has been in the library profession for 45 years, 37 years at the top management level and is a Fellow of the Ghana Library Association. She has served in several roles including President of Ghana Library Association 2003-06; Member of the Governing Board of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) 2007-11; Member, and later Chairperson of eIFLnet Advisory Board 2007-11; Member and later Chairperson of UNESCO’s International Advisory Committee on the Memory of the World Program 2013-2015; Chairperson, Management Committee, Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Ghana (CARLIGH) 2004 to 2013. In May 2012 she received the 2011 BioMed Open Access Advocate of the Year and in August 2012, the IFLA Service Medal for her significant contribution to IFLA and international librarianship through her work in building bridges across Africa and between African countries and the rest of the world.

 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).

Ndabaga Eugene is an Associate Professor of Education at University of Rwanda College of Education, the chief editor of Rwanda journal of education (RJE-AJOL) of University of Rwanda-college of education and an external reviewer for Compare journal of education UK. He holds a Bachelor of philosophy degree from Urbaniana University-Italy-Rome (Philosophy, Psychology and sociology); MA and Doctorate both in Educational management, Policy and Planning from the University of Bath-UK. Ndabaga Eugene has taught across various levels of education including secondary school and University levels. For two terms (8 years) Ndabaga Eugene was the vice Rector/DVC in charge of Academic affairs at Umutara Polytechnic University in the Eastern part of Rwanda before the merger.

Ms. Beata Nyirabahizi, a Rwanda citizen, works for Rwanda Cultural Heritage Academy (RCHA) as Ag. Director of Rwanda National Library Services Unit. She is also the Chairperson of Rwanda National Memory of the World committee and a Board member of Kigali Public Library (KPL). In the past Ms. Nyirabahizi has served as Ag. Director of National Library (2018-2021), where she previously worked as a librarian (2015-2017). Formerly she was a librarian in Rwanda Library Services, an Archivist in charge of National archives collection and a teacher in Primary school de Cyambwe in MUSAMBIRA Sector. Ms. Nyirabahizi is a professional Librarian, holds a Masters degree in Library sciences from Mahatma Gandhi University and has a bachelor degree in Sociology from Universite Libre de Kigali (ULK). She speaks and writes Kinyarwanda, French, English, and Swahili.