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UPDATED: 08:13, March 13, 2007
UN calls for development of libraries in Africa
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The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) stressed Monday that African countries must develop library facilities to give impetus to economic development.

UNECA's chief librarian Abraham Azubuike said during the presentation of a report on libraries and information services that most schools in Africa lack quality library facilities.

Access to information and knowledge is the base for sustainable economic transformation and human development, he said.

He said adequate support for library facilities on the continent would enable the facilities to perform their educational role including life long learning and literacy.

Azubuike said the creation of digital public library and archive services, digitization and long- term preservation of intellectual and cultural goods and artifacts would help develop the continent.

Azubuike urged African governments to put in place policies and laws to ensure financial and political support to development of information institutions such as libraries.

He said that in developed countries, almost all the residents have free access to learning materials, computers and Internet through public libraries.

Azubuike said freedom of access to public information guaranteed by law, along with freedom of expression, forms part of the basic principles of information society.

Source: Xinhua

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