More Resources Must Be Engaged To Digitise And Preserve Collection Of Africa's Audio-Visual Assets

Broadcast Media Africa (BMA) and Apricity consulting recently (on Thursday 18th March 2021) hosted a one-day virtual industry forum on "Audio-Visual Archives: Standards and Strategies For Successful Preservation and Management. This conference brought together various stakeholders from across the continent where they shared experiences, expertise, and insight into these rapid and exciting developments. The Forum provided a much-needed stage to share knowledge about digital preservation, strategies and archiving.

Participants at the Forum explored the factors that drive organisational capabilities to successfully implement a digital preservation strategy of sound and archived audio-visual content. The industry meeting explored various aspects of archiving, including challenges faced in Africa such as technology policies, lack of awareness about precious heritage, and a lack of resources and technical skills to secure records' permanence.

Speakers at the Forum agreed on the importance of understanding the handling of collections. There needs to be an understanding of the chemical composition of materials as this will assist in avoiding physical errors and storing the material. There was unanimous in their view that there is no one-fits-all solution to digitisation and preservation. It is also vital that organisations with strategies proven to work should share the framework with other stakeholders to ensure preservation is done correctly for all current and future purposes.

The online Forum was part of the activities and project being conducted as part of the year-long #PreserveAfricaArchive initiative.

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