Annual Conference 2018, Yaounde, Cameroon

The website for the ICA Yaounde 2018 Conference is now online and the registration system is open ! Register now to have the benefit of the early birds fees !

Holding one of ICA’s first conferences on the African continent presents many opportunities for knowledge and cultural exchange as well as collaboration. There are many exciting innovations and advancements taking place on the continent, and information plays a key role in enabling these things to happen. However, the information that underpins these innovations is not always seen as an asset and is often neglected in both paper and digital form. The conference in Yaounde, Cameroon is an incredible opportunity to demonstrate the international archival community’s support for colleagues in Cameroon and Sub-Saharan Africa. Equally, it permits all of us to exchange knowledge and information on good governance and the role of archives play to enable this. The importance of archives cannot be overstated. There is a saying posted on the wall near the National Archives of Cameroon that says: ‘Archives is us, It is our lives, It is our histories, It is our becoming’.

There have been several recent news articles issued by some media outlets that have discussed unrest in northern parts of Cameroon. The ICA works in diverse cultural and political contexts, and the basic aim of the organisation remains the same: “to promote the management and use of records and archives, and the preservation of the archival heritage of humanity around the world.” Ensuring the care and preservation of documentary heritage, regardless of context, is vital to enable citizens to assert their rights and hold their governments to account regardless of when that may be possible. The aims of ICA are also reflected in the conference theme ‘Governance, Memory and Heritage’. Governance is not possible without properly managed records and data; nor can people understand their history or their culture unless this material survives.

The Cameroonian government and the archival community in Cameroon have warmly welcomed the ICA Secretariat when we have visited, and they are very much looking forward to showing their hospitality to the international archival community. This will be a great conference! And we hope the membership will come and demonstrate their support. The Government of Cameroon has guaranteed the safety of participants and ICA Secretariat staff have travelled to Yaounde several times for missions all of which have taken place without incident.

In preparation for the conference the Secretariat staff have prepared a Frequently Asked Questions document to provide practical information to help delegates prepare for their visit to Cameroon, as well as to provide information on safety and sanitation. We recommend that participants also read information from the ministries and/or departments that issue travel advice in their countries.

If members have any questions or require more information on the conference in Cameroon they can contact the Secretary General at: seles@ica.org