Greeting from the Minister of Arts and Culture

Dear Delegates,

Mr N. Mthethwa, Minister of Arts and CulturSouth Africa hosts the 81st IFLA GENERAL CONFERENCE AND ASSEMBLY, 15 – 21 AUGUST 2015

It is an honour for me, on behalf of the President of South Africa, Mr J Zuma, and all South Africans to welcome you to our beautiful country for this important international gathering of librarians and information specialists. We acknowledge IFLA for recognising our country as a worthy host for the IFLA World Library and Information Congress to be held in Cape Town from 15-21 August 2015.

History will be repeating itself in 2015 as it will be the second time within a decade that South Africa will be hosting the IFLA Congress but also the third time it will be held on the African continent. Many of you will remember that we successfully hosted the 2007 IFLA Congress in Durban. Your presence in our country in 2007 has forged links throughout the African continent that will be further strengthened next year.

The South African government is committed to developing an informed nation and to this end is proud of the initiatives and passion that the library and information services (LIS) sector in South Africa is displaying with regard to transforming and developing library services in the country to the benefit of all citizens. The sector is well organised and cooperates closely to improve services and to raise awareness of the impact that libraries have on the personal, educational and socio-economic development of our people.

The Library and information Services Charter developed by the sector provides a framework that will enable the sector and government to address the information challenges that face our country, such as information illiteracy, and the creation of a culture of reading, and provides policy guidelines on how to position the sector as an integral part of the knowledge economy and sustainable development. There are many challenges that the sector still faces, but government will be supporting communities, as part of its vision for 2030, to gain access to the resources they need to develop their capabilities.

Therefore a conference of this stature is an important platform for professional engagement, the exchange and sharing of ideas, learning from others and hopefully identify areas for partnerships and collaborations. It is an opportunity for us to showcase our libraries, our professionals and best practices that are emerging as critical development partners throughout the African continent.

On behalf of the South African government, the South African people, the library and information services sector and the Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA), we invite you to join us in Cape Town, South Africa, from 15-21 August 2015.

I wish to extend a warm welcome to you and the IFLA Congress to South Africa and especially to Cape Town, the “Mother City and the legislative capital” in 2015. Come and experience the natural beauty of the city, the mountain, the food, and the culture that this world renowned city has to offer.

Yours sincerely

Mr N. Mthethwa
Minister of Arts and Culture

Last update: 9 November 2015