Namibia Library Strategy
In June 2004, Namibia’s President, Dr. Sam Nujoma, launched a new vision for the next quarter century of Namibian development, a vision that would guide the country to make “deliberate efforts to improve the quality of life [of Namibians] to the level of their counterparts in the developed world by the year 2030” (Office of the President, 2004). This would require a transformation of the economy from one based primarily on the production of raw materials to a knowledge-based, globally competitive economy. The education and training sector, which includes continuing education and library services in addition to schools, universities and other training institutions, would be expected to play an important role in contributing towards this transformation, and the Education and Training Sector Improvement Program (ETSIP) represents a response of Namibia’s Ministry of Education (MOE) to Vision 2030. ETSIP includes a sub-program in support of Information, Adult and Lifelong Learning (IALL), which includes the library and information services (LIS) sector. As part of this sub-program, ETSIP is financing a strategic assessment and economic analysis of the LIS sector.
Knowledge Leadership Associates (KLA), a South African firm, carried out a first phase of the LIS study, producing a Baseline Report in 2008 (Smith et al., 2008). The contract for the second phase of the LIS study was awarded to the LIDA consortium comprising MDR Partners and the Network for Information & Digital Access (NIDA). The research team includes Rob Davies and Mary Rowlatt of MDR Partners; Carol Priestley and Diana Rosenberg of NIDA; Ellen Namhila, the University Librarian at the University of Namibia (UNAM); Kingo Mchombu, the Chair of the Department of Information and Communication Studies at UNAM (who is also associated with NIDA); and Peter Moock, an education economist and independent consultant based in New York.