Assistant Minister of Education and Skills Development, Mr Aubrey Lesaso, says the has expressed the hope that resolutions of the Department of Library and Information Studies 4th Biennial International Conference will contribute to the ministry’s efforts towards achieving Vision 2036 goals.
The theme of the three-day conference held at the UB Indoor Sports Centre was Information and Knowledge Management in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and COVID-19 Era.
“The conference theme is very timely and appropriate as it resonates with the vision that we as Batswana have set for ourselves with considerable input from the citizens of Botswana,” said Mr Lesaso.
He pointed out that emerging technologies were not only introducing new business models and disrupting old ways of doing things but were also changing everyday life. He added that it was critical to accelerate adoption of these technologies in that a knowledge-based economy which Botswana was driving towards, was anchored on 4IR technologies.
In relation to what would be the relevance and value of knowledge management in an age where people seamlessly connected through ubiquitous technologies, Mr Lesaso said such must encompass identifying and contracting sources of knowledge or crowd sourcing.
Another area of interest he mentioned was the role of information and knowledge management in a world where individuals are increasingly being made redundant and replaced by robots to perform both repetitive and highly complex work. To that end, Mr Lesaso said localizing global knowledge was critical besides sourcing relevant data and ensuring that such data were clean prior to analysis. In addition, he explained that connectedness to the Internet of Things had potential for creation of knowledge but underscored the importance of ensuring safety and privacy of employees.
Speaking at the same conference, Acting Vice Chancellor, Mrs Motsei Rapelana, underscored the importance of information and knowledge because without them one loses their power.
Mrs Rapelana encouraged UB staff to utilize knowledge gained from the conference especially as the University was undergoing a process of transformation which requires a high aptitude in information and knowledge management.
Chairperson of the Organising Team from the Department of Library and Information Studies, Professor Priti Jain, said the COVID-19 era had highlighted the importance of information technology and the crucial role it plays in continued socio-economic developments in these uncertain times.
“This extraordinary situation lends a relevance and urgency to the themes of this conference and their importance for our country, the region and the world beyond,” Said Professor Jain.
Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Professor Fidelis Nkomazana, commended the DLIS for organising the conference despite challenges arising from COVID-19. Professor Nkomazana said given that Botswana was eagerly engaged in a knowledge-based economy, such required prompt access to information borne out of adequate information and knowledge management.