Call for submissions: ICA Yaounde 2018 / CLOSED

ICA Yaounde 2018

Annual Conference

Archives: Governance, memory, and heritage

The International Council on Archives will hold its Annual Conference in Yaoundé, Cameroon, from 26 to 28 November 2018.

The ICA Yaounde 2018 Annual Conference promises to be a unique and unforgettable experience in one of the world’s most dynamic cities. Featuring a mosaic of cultures and traditions, Cameroon enjoys a diverse economy and stunning landscapes from its southern forests to its western highlands. A gateway to the African continent, Cameroon is a country with two official languages, French and English, and almost 200 African dialects.

The ICA Programme Committee hereby invites proposals for presentations, panel sessions, workshops, and other contributions related to the three conference themes: Governance, Memory, and Heritage. Within these three themes, the conference will focus on two additional topics: Pan-African issues in archives and the challenge of sustainable development. Please read on for information on the conference topics.

We request that you complete your application by no later than 22 April 2018 (23:59:59 CET). The Programme Committee will only consider submissions received via this platform. Instructions on how to submit are contained in the submission platform.

The Programme Committee may combine single presentations together to form panel sessions as appropriate. Proposals for other types of contributions should be submitted using the option for single presentations.

Papers may be submitted in French or English. Please note that those selected to present will be required to register for and attend the conference. Membership in the ICA is not required in order to attend or present, but typically ICA members enjoy a reduced registration fee.

Questions about possible submissions may be directed to the Programme Committee via Jessica Squires, Programme Officer, ICA, at

Further information on the conference will be available on the ICA website in the coming weeks.

Governance, memory, and heritage

The conference in Yaoundé will be the first time the ICA Annual Conference is held in Africa. To make the most of this unique opportunity, the ICA aims to bring together specialists and professionals from around the world with African experts and decision makers to address issues of governance, memory, and heritage, with a particular focus on Pan-African issues in archives and on issues of sustainable development.

Quality of life, economic growth, and social development all depend on good governance, effective planning, and respect for justice and the rule of law, which depend in turn on accountable, transparent, and efficient records and archives management. While issues of governance, memory, and heritage affect archival and records operations everywhere, archival institutions across Africa face specific challenges in securing sustainable funding and support for this important work. In many African countries, archives strive to achieve the status they deserve, alongside other priorities, such as health, education, and security.

In Africa, as in other parts of the world, the success of national and international investment in capacity building and development depends on good governance, which relies on trustworthy and effective records management and systems. Further, national and regional growth and prosperity depend on the long-term preservation and management of individual and collective memory and on the protection of society’s documentary heritage, especially in Africa’s multicultural and multilinguistic societies. The Yaoundé conference will consider these issues of governance, memory, and heritage with a specific focus on Pan-African experiences in archives.

As well, the Yaoundé conference will focus on fundamental questions of sustainable development. The United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal 16 – “peace, justice and strong institutions” – aims to “promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions.” The conference will consider the role of records, archives, and documentary heritage in promoting the rule of law; providing equal access to justice; developing transparent and accountable institutions; ensuring the survival of a collective memory; and serving the goal of universal access to information and knowledge.

ICA Yaounde 2018 provides an exceptional opportunity for records and archives professionals from around the world to address these issues of governance, memory, and heritage in the dynamic, multicultural environment of this vibrant city. African and international experts and decision-makers will come together to share ideas, discuss common concerns, and develop concrete proposals for action to support and improve archival and records operations across the diverse regions of Africa. These proposals might address such matters as continuing professional development, funding for archival and records research, the role and application of standards, policies and tools for archival work, and the practical application of digital technologies for records and archives operations.

Call for Proposals

The Programme Committee invites proposals linked to the three themes of governance, memory, and heritage, and especially for proposals that focus on Pan-African issues in archives and/or on issues of sustainable development.

Proposals are welcomed for presentations, panels, workshops, debates, posters, or any other format. Proposals that support broad participation from and collaboration with conference attendees are particularly encouraged.

While the Programme Committee welcomes submissions on any archival, records management, or related topic relevant to the three conference themes – governance, memory, and heritage – and to the two focus areas – Pan-African issues and sustainable development – the Committee is particularly interested in receiving proposals on the following topics.


  • The relationship of records and archives to human rights and justice, including issues of reconciliation, transitional justice processes, or minority rights
  • The role of archives in international and border security and in the fight against terrorism
  • The institutional and legal status and strength of archives
  • The role of national archives in governance and accountability, especially with respect to economic, business, and political archives
  • The management of health records, including, for example, issues of preservation, access, and privacy
  • The impact of digital technologies on records management and the delivery of e-government services
  • Issues of finance and investment in the archival sector
  • The role of collaboration and resource sharing for records, archives, and ICT development, particularly in an African context
  • The impact of climate change on archives
  • The continued role of professional and technical standards and tools for records and archives control in a changing governance environment
  • The role of records and archives in support of the goals of sustainable development, in Africa and around the world


  • Records, archives, and written memory in Africa
  • Approaches to shared archival heritage and its impact on collective memory
  • Challenges in addressing and managing disrupted, stolen, or lost documentary heritage and archives
  • The role of literary, artistic, or cultural archives as sources of collective memory and identity
  • The impact of digital technologies on the creation, management, and protection of increasingly ephemeral digital information and evidence
  • The changing nature of personal archives in the digital era
  • Memory and archives as tools for local, regional, or national development and growth


  • The role of archives and archival institutions as tools for individual and collective identity and culture
  • The importance of archives of sport and leisure to community development, identity, and heritage
  • The importance of audiovisual and digital archives to community development, identity, and heritage
  • Issues of access to archives
  • Issues in the preservation and management of photographic and audiovisual archives
  • The challenge of language in understanding, managing, and providing access to archives
  • The role of archives in the service of universal access to information and knowledge


The conference programme will include workshops selected from the proposals submitted in response to the call for papers. All individuals, PCOM project managers, Expert Groups, Sections, and Regional Branches wishing to run a workshop must apply following the conference submission process. Workshops will be a half-day in duration with a limit of 20 to 25 participants. There will be no official provision for translation; workshop facilitators are welcome and encouraged to make their own arrangements for translation of oral and written material should they so choose. Facilitators will be expected to provide a set of learning outcomes, which should be articulated in the proposal. Workshops chosen for delivery at the conference must include a workshop evaluation in accordance with the ICA’s Training Programme procedures.

Workshop topics might include:

  • Lessons learned or tools resulting from projects funded by ICA Programme Commission (ICA PCOM) or ICA Fund for the International Development of Archives (ICA FIDA)
  • Matters of concern to ICA Expert Groups
  • Topics related to the conference themes
  • Archival and recordkeeping standards, directives, and policies
  • Management and migration of physical formats (especially audiovisual and digital) in tropical climates
  • Preservation and technical control of records and repositories
  • Infrastructure and equipment in archive buildings in an African context
  • Practical, low-cost tools for managing electronic records and archives
  • Management of digital archives and records and their long-term preservation in resource-restricted environments

See you in Yaoundé!