Africa Programme

The Africa Programme is designed to deliver ICA’s Africa Strategy. Advocacy and training are at the heart of this strategy and, as such, the Programme aims to consolidate regional branch networks, promote the role played by national archives vis-à-vis governments, and support university-level recordkeeping curriculum development. 

Origins of the Africa Programme


Priority area

In 2012, the ICA's Programme Commission (PCOM) made Africa a priority area in professional programme work, with the aim of supporting:

  • - the development of record-keeping capacity in Africa,
  • - the needs of African archivists and records managers,
  • - ICA strategic objectives and priorities, and
  • - the delivery of archival education.

- This led to the development of the Africa Strategy and the related Workplan during 2014 and 2015.


Africa Programme Strategy and Workplan

The Africa Strategy culminated in high-level decisions in support of advocacy and training in Africa. Pitching the strategy at the highest level enabled ICA and its members to engage with international and local partners and to support local needs at project level.

The strategy was developed in consultation with ICA members, in particular those in Africa. It was supported by a Workplan with priorities, projects and tasks for the ICA and the Africa Working Group (2015-2020).

The Africa Strategy was adopted by the ICA Programme Commission and endorsed by the ICA Executive Board in Reykjavik in September 2015.

This first phase of the Africa Programme was led by James Lowry, who took on the task of ICA’s Africa Programme Secretary on a voluntary basis.


The DRCP was held in Gaborone, Botswana in early August. This initiative was part of the PCOM Strategic Plan 2018-2020 for delivering on capacity building, particularly around curriculum review, conservation and preservation training and training in digital records management and preservation.

The overall purpose of the study school was to introduce participants to new educational materials developed by the ICA Africa Programme to support the development of digital records curation knowledge in new generations of archivists and records managers. This material was developed after ICA’s African members had expressed the wish for more educational resources in this area.

From 21 to 25 October, the School of Librarians, Archivists, and Documentalists (EBAD) in Dakar hosted a French-language training session for teachers and instructors in archival studies. The session was masterminded by Dr. Makhlouf Shabou of the Haute École de Gestion in Geneva, Switzerland, following the success of the ICA’s training course on ‘Preservation of Digital Business Records for Professionals’, held in Yaoundé, Cameroun on 29 and 30 November 2018 as part of the Africa Programme, this programme including among its aims those of supporting the development of business records management capacities and meeting the needs of archivists and business records managers.


DPC Award

The ICA’s Digital Records Curation Programme wins the DPC Award for Teaching and Communications. The award is sponsored by the Dutch Digital Heritage Network.

Innovation Awards 2020

The ICA's Digital Records Curation Programme wins a further award. On 12 November, it was one of the eight winners of the Innovation Awards 2020 offered by the National Digital Stewardship Alliance (NDSA) to recognise and encourage innovation in the field of digital stewardship.


Phase two of the Africa Programme

This phase focused on building on the efforts attained in the first five years of the Programme. During this phase, the AP focused on 2 objectives: developing sustainable knowledge exchange initiatives and developing training and trainer competencies.

The objectives for this second phase were designed to be shared between francophone and anglophone Africa in a bid to enhance uniformity and equality across the continent whilst not losing sight of the similarities and differences between the two regions. Where possible, the objectives were directed towards ensuring engagement between the two language communities, both sharing significant common challenges despite their linguistic and cultural specificities.

The two objectives targeted were aligned on African development strategies and on the Programme’s strategy. Advocacy and adequate knowledge and skills among archival professionals were and remain critical to positioning records and archives management at the heart of the sustainable development efforts pursued in all African countries.

For more details about the Africa Programme Strategy, Workplan and objectives for 2021-2023, please check below (available only in English and French). 

ICA Africa Strategy

International Council on Archives - ICA

ICA Africa Workplan

International Council on Archives - ICA

Africa Programme Objectives 2021-2023

ICA - International Council on Archives