Articles, Conferences and Workshop Papers Collection

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    Assessing the efficacy of electronic document management system in records management at Sokoine University of Agriculture
    (University of Nebraska - Lincoln, 2022) Malekani, Andrew; Alphonce, Alex Bahame
    This study was conducted at Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) in the year 2022. The objective of this study was to assess the efficacy of EDMS in accessibility and use of records at Sokoine University of Agriculture. Specifically, the study was geared to find out the way EDMS is used in accessing and using documents at Sokoine University of Agriculture. The study used a cross section research design where by the data were collected at one time based on two approaches which are qualitative and quantitative. The study used a sample size of 100 respondents who were all SUA staff. 100 respondents were selected by using purposive sampling techniques, simple random and systematic random sampling from a population of 1300 SUA staff who. Results indicate that the use of SUA – EDMS is not difficult because majority of them (100%) reported that they are using EDMS. The study revealed that only leave of absence was a major document accessed using EDMS followed by annual leave and maternity leave. It was therefore concluded that the adoption of EDMS has to some extent reduced paper work in managing records at SUA. However, respondents were of the opinion that EDMS should improve on accessing other documents in the system like paternity leave, study leave and imprest forms. Moreover, EDMS should be improved to ensure EDMS is stable and available all the time, improving internet bandwidth speed, stability of power supply as well as find other alternatives for power supply. The EDMS should allow users to recover their own passwords instead of depending on system administrator to assign passwords all the time. But also regular training should be provided on how to use EDMS and change management.
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    Innovative “Swahili based Agricultural Apps” underutilized new way of reaching farmers and disseminating information in Tanzania
    (TAJAS, 2021) Nyinondi, P. S; Sospeter, M.E
    Agricultural professionals are constantly in the search of innovative ways to engage farmers and timely dissemination of information. Smartphone application is one of the popular avenues used in some countries, to engage farmers and disseminate information. This study was conducted to assess the use of Swahili based agricultural apps in Tanzania. Virtual product snowball sampling was used to identify Swahili based agricultural apps in android Google Play Store for sixty days i.e. November to December 2020. The findings show that at least 23 Swahili based agricultural apps were available in android Google Play. The oldest of identified apps was released on 2017, which suggest that the use of customised apps to reach farmers is a new phenomenon in Tanzania. Content of the identified apps show that three apps (13%) provide exclusively information on poultry farming; others have general information on crops and livestock. The content on fisheries and aquaculture is notably meagre in the existing livestock apps. Most (83.2%) of the apps had less than 10,000 downloads and only one app has reached 100,000. The users’ opinions are skewed to positive. Taking into account the number of farmers and adoption rate of internet based smart phones in Tanzania, downloads figures suggest that existing apps are under-utilised. The study concludes that the use of Swahili based agricultural apps is a new practice at the early stage of adoption, which should be harnessed for timely and fruitful engagement with farmers and transformation of extension services in Tanzania.
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    Selection and acquisition of library materials in Academic libraries: a case study of sokoine National Agricultural Library (SNAL) and Mzumbe University Library.
    (Academic Research Journals, 2021-03-24) Shou, Risper; Anna, Kimaro
    This study assessed selection and acquisition of library materials in SNAL and MZUMBE library. Research design shows in detail the important procedures necessary for obtaining information resources that are needed to solve the research problem. Population of the study covered the librarians of Sokoine national agricultural library and Mzumbe university library, population was chosen basing on the fact that Librarians are the one who deals with selection of library materials at Sokoine National Library and Mzumbe University Library. The study involved 15 librarians who provide information about selection and acquisition of library materials at SNAL and 15 librarians at Mzumbe university library. Therefore the total population study will be with 30 respondents. The sample was chosen basing on the fact that the sample of 30 is significant comparing to the population also these are minimum number that provide the sufficient information when drawings in the distribution curve show a good impression graphs. The researcher used random sampling techniques by selecting librarian randomly, the researcher uses this to help researcher to get sample size which will give out results that would have been obtained if the entire population had been measured. Questionnaire was used to collect the data from the respondent believed that the use of questionnaires is less expensive since they can be sent to a large number of people ,so researcher chooses this particular method for them to reach respondents and also saving time for data collection. The finding of this study shows that selection and acquisition of academic library materials depend on contemporary significance, format and ease of use, while purchase, gift/donation and exchanges were highly rated methods of acquisition of library materials. The challenges encountered during the course of the study include failure to submit accurate bibliographic information of the requested item, book supplies fail to deliver ordered item on time, delay of submission of list of materials to be acquired by library user, and organizing incoming request.
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    Digital technologies and services for sustainable agriculture in Tanzania: A literature review
    (MDPI Sustainability, 2022-02-20) Mushi, Gilbert E.; Di Marzo Serugendo, Giovanna; Burgi, Pierre-Yves
    Digital technology has the potential to eradicate extreme poverty and food insecurity to the majority of smallholder farmers in the world. This paper aims to identify knowledge gaps on digital technology for sustainable agriculture and assess their availability to smallholder farmers worldwide. The particular case of Tanzania receives special attention. We conducted an extensive literature search from relevant databases for review. The advanced digital technology in agriculture, mostly used by large scale farmers, significantly contributes to sustainable agriculture. However, the existing digital services for smallholder farmers lack sustainability in the agriculture context and hardly meet the needs for a comprehensive set of services in a complete farming cycle. In most developing countries, Tanzania case included, digital technology and services respond to a challenge at a particular stage of the farming process or to a specific value chain. Based on this literature review, we identify inequalities among large and small farmers, as well as environmental challenges caused by ICT itself. To conclude we provide suggestions for improvements for smallholder farmers: developing a digital platform that addresses smallholder farmers’ challenges in a complete farming cycle, bringing together the stakeholders at a country level, in order to achieve sustainable agriculture and support adoption of cutting-edge digital technology. These suggestions will be the starting point for future research.
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    Effectiveness of staff professional development programmes among librarians in Academic Libraries: A case of Mzumbe University Library and Sokoine University of Agriculture Library
    (SSHJ, Everant/ CrossMark, 2022) Kimaro, Anna
    This study assessed the effectiveness of staff development programmes in academic libraries of Tanzania. Specifically, the study focused on the effectiveness of staff development practices in academic libraries. It also sought to ascertain the challenges hindering the effectiveness of staff development practices in academic libraries in Tanzania. The study involved Mzumbe University Library and Sokoine University of Agriculture Library respectively. Data collection was through questionnaires and interview. The findings of the study revealed that training needs revolved around activities that the respondents did on a continual basis; such as cataloging and classification, data entry, library software skills, communication skills as well as Information and Communication Technology. The majority of staff needed training to improve their work performance. However, such opportunities were limited due to various reasons, the major one being insufficient or lack of funds for professional development. The findings also revealed that the skills and knowledge acquired did reflect the training needs or the gaps in staff skills and knowledge in relation to their activities, training was positively related to improvement in job performance and provision of services. The study also revealed various challenges hindering the effectiveness of staff development programmes at the surveyed libraries, including lack of funds to support staff development, lack of time to attend training, inadequate staff and few times mismatch between training and needs. This study recommends increasing of budgetary allocation to support staff development, employment of more staff, seeking more support from donors, and basing training on training needs assessment.
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    Research data management and services: Resources for different data practitioners
    (IASSIST Quarterly, 2021-12-26) Mushi, Gilbert Exaud
    The emergence of data-driven research and demands for Research Data Management (RDM) has created interest in global academic institutions and research organisations. Some of the libraries, especially in developed countries, have started offering RDM services to their communities. Although lagging, some academic libraries in developing countries are planning or implementing the service. However, the level of RDM awareness is deficient among researchers, librarians and other data practitioners. This paper aims to present available open resources for different data practitioners, particularly researchers and librarians. It includes training resources for researchers and librarians, Data Management Plan (DMP) tool for researchers, a data repository available for researchers to freely archive and share their research data to the local and international communities. A case study with a survey was conducted at the University of Dodoma to identify relevant RDM services so that librarians could assist researchers in making their data accessible to the local and international community. The study findings revealed a low level of RDM awareness among researchers and librarians. Over 50% of the respondent indicated their perceived knowledge as poor in the following RDM knowledge areas; DMP, data repository, long term digital preservation, funders RDM mandates, metadata standards describing data and general awareness of RDM. Therefore, this paper presents available open resources for different data practitioners to improve RDM knowledge and boost the confidence of academic and research libraries in establishing the service.
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    Information Repackaging for the Prevention and Control of Human Trafficking in Nigeria
    (University of Nigeria, 2011) Ezema, I, J
    African population is again suffering serious depletion through human trafficking with women and children as the most vulnerable groups. This social problem tagged modern day slavery is a set back to the socio-economic development of African countries. Nigeria has been identified as a transit and destination of human trafficking. Different anti-human trafficking organisations are trying to combat this organized crime through several strategies. This paper is proposing information repackaging for rural dwellers where majority of the victims are recruited as a potent method of combating this social problem. Transforming printed information into oral form, use of community information centers, community based organisations (CBOs), radio jingles, television programmes, focal group discussions among others are various repackaging techniques this paper has recommended.
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    Communication channels for exchanging agricultural information among Tanzanian farmers: A meta-analysis
    (SAGE, 2021) Mtega, Wulystan Pius
    This study investigates how communication channels to exchange agricultural information were chosen. Specifically, it identifies the communication channels used by farmers in Tanzania and determines the factors influencing the choice of communication channels for exchanging agricultural information. The study employs a meta-analysis review methodology in identifying, evaluating and interpreting studies relevant to the topic of interest. The results indicate that radio, mobile phones, television, fellow farmers, agricultural extension agents and newspapers were the commonly used communication channels for transferring agricultural information. Moreover, the channels’ influence, availability, affordability, communication network coverage, and the resources and facilities needed to use a particular communication channel were found to influence the choice of channels. It is concluded that understanding the audience, the characteristics surrounding messages and choosing appropriate communication channels are important for enhancing access to agricultural information. It is recommended that agricultural information providers should understand the factors surrounding communication channels before disseminating agricultural information.
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    Knowledge management best practices among rice farmers in selected areas of Tanzania
    (SAGE, 2019) Mtega, Wulystan Pius; Ngoepe, Mpho
    For improved rice production, farmers need access to timely and relevant knowledge at each stage of the rice-cropping calendar. To understand how farmers involve themselves in acquiring and sharing agricultural knowledge, this study investigates how knowledge management best practices can be enhanced among rice farmers in selected rural areas of Tanzania. Data were collected from 226 rice farmers in three districts (Kilombero, Kilosa and Mvomero) of the Morogoro region in Tanzania. Findings from structured questionnaires and focused group discussion indicate that rice farmers accessed, shared and used agricultural knowledge. It was found that individual, institutional and knowledge factors influence the performance of agricultural knowledge management activities. For enhancing effective agricultural knowledge management, it is important to take into consideration the knowledge management best practices, which include developing effective knowledge infrastructure, involving different stakeholders and using appropriate information and communications technology tools in enhancing access to knowledge. It is concluded that effective knowledge management activities increase the level of adoption of agricultural innovations. It is recommended that the proposed agricultural knowledge management best practices be adapted for improving rice production.
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    Health information on the internet
    (Elsevier Inc., 2017) Mallya, Rehema Chande; Msonde, Sydney Enock; Mtega, Wulystan Pius; Lwoga, Edda Tandi
    Advancements in information and communication technolo- gies (ICTs) including Internet have accelerated the search for health-related information and become a common practice worldwide. It has brought a change in people’s lifestyle and has a greater impact compared to any other communication tools. A study by Alghamdi and Moussa (2011) noted that, a majority of people rely on Internet to search for health infor- mation, social, business, and other information available online. The evolution of Internet and its utilization has improved access and retrieval of health information. Alghamdi and Moussa (2011) observed that patients used various sources of information such as newspapers, books, and colleagues to search for health information in previous days. Modern search engines and platforms (e.g., social networks, websites, portals, health databases) have made health information easily acces- sible using various devices such as smart phones, tablets, laptops, and computers (Hong et al., 2015). Health informa- tion is now available at fingertips. The Internet is a powerful tool for empowering patients in making decision on health-related matters, and it facilitates patients to communicate easily in health-care services. It is also observed that limited patient communication is associ- ated with poor patient health outcomes and low patient satisfaction. However, Internet is viewed as a medium for patient empowerment; although some websites are not rated as trustworthy or validated (Beck et al., 2014). The public health impact of the Internet is wide reaching, affecting many aspects of people’s social lives and practice. For example, university students used the Internet to search for health information on various aspects especially on specific illness, fitness, and nutrition compared to other online users. In higher learning institutions and health-care centers, Internet has been a crucial tool in exchanging information using various online platforms such as social media tools (e-mails and other interactive tools). Telemedicine and video conferencing are useful tools in transferring information from one part to another (e.g., in facilitating hospital communication) in relation to clinical aspects such as medical diagnosis, treatment, transferring of data, and moni- toring patients’ health-care delivery services. This article focuses on the use of Internet for public health, and it covers the following subtopics: accessibility, quality, prospects, efficacy, and challenges of accessing health informa- tion on the Internet.
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    A framework for strengthening agricultural knowledge systems for improved accessibility of agricultural knowledge in Morogoro Region of Tanzania
    (SAGE, 2017) Mtega, Wulystan Pius; Ngoepe, Mpho
    Access to agricultural knowledge has been a serious challenge among farmers in Tanzania. To overcome this, various strategies have been implemented, but few have managed to limit the effect of the problem. The current study was set to design a framework for strengthening agricultural knowledge systems (AKS) with the view to improve access to agricultural knowledge among agricultural stakeholders in Tanzania. Furthermore, the study identified actors in agricultural knowledge systems and determined factors influencing the efficiency of AKS. Quantitative data was collected through questionnaires directed to 314 farmers and 57 AKS actors among agricultural researchers, agricultural extension staff, policy makers, village executives and input suppliers. Findings indicate that individual experience and involvement of actors influence agricultural knowledge creation. Accessibility of agricultural knowledge was influenced by: awareness of knowledge and its sources, ownership of communication tools, affordability of mobile phone tariffs, level of development of knowledge infrastructure, time that radio/TV agricultural programmes were aired, membership in farmers’ groups/associations and provision of agricultural extension services. To strengthen usage of AKS, this study proposes a framework for improving the performance of agricultural knowledge processes and knowledge accessibility. It is hoped that the framework will assist in guiding agricultural actors in sharing knowledge.
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    Using WhatsApp Messenger for improving learners' engagement in teaching and learning: a case of undergraduate students at the Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania
    (University of Nebraska - Lincoln, 2021) Mtega, Wulystan Pius
    This study was set to investigate how WhatsApp Messenger supported learner-centred teaching and learning. Specifically, the study evaluated the level of exchange of scholarly information resources among students through WhatsApp Messenger, determined how WhatsApp supports learner-centred learning and assessed challenges influencing students when using WhatsApp Messenger in teaching and learning. The study involved undergraduate students and instructors at the Department of Records and Information Studies. It employed random sampling techniques in selecting students and purposive techniques in selecting instructors to be included in the study. Major results indicate that WhatsApp Messenger was highly adopted and used for supporting learning. All respondents were members of WhatsApp Messenger groups. Results indicate that the usage of WhatsApp Messenger has improved the accessibility of reading materials and reading culture among students. Usage of WhatsApp Messenger in learner-centred teaching and learning approaches is limited by the inadequate mobile phone storage space for downloaded scholarly contents and interruptions made by non-academic conversations made through the same application. It is concluded that if used effectively, the application may increase academic performance among students. It recommends developing WhatsApp Messenger functionalities that may facilitate the moderation of the teaching and learning process and make mobile internet services affordable.
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    The usage of radio and television as agricultural knowledge sources: The case of farmers in Morogoro region of Tanzania
    (International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication TechnologyInternational Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology, 2018) Mtega, Wulystan Pius
    Radio and television are potential for knowledge dissemination. This study investigated the usage of radio and television as sources of agricultural knowledge among farmers in Tanzania. Specifically, the study identified major sources of agricultural knowledge used by farmers; determined the potential of radio and television stations as sources of agricultural knowledge; determined the accessibility and usage of radio and television agricultural programmes; investigated factors influencing the accessibility and usage of radio and television agricultural programmes and; devised strategies to improve accessibility of radio and television agricultural programmes. This study involved 314 randomly selected farmers from nine villages in Morogoro Region. Findings indicate that radio and television were among the seven sources of agricultural knowledge among farmers. Radio sets were more accessible and owned by more farmers than television sets. Findings further indicate that majority of farmers who used radio and television as sources of agricultural knowledge preferred to listen and watch agricultural programmes respectively during evening and night. The study showed that accessibility of radio and television sets, gender based division of labour, language, number of agricultural programmes broadcasted and awareness of the broadcasting time of agricultural programmes were among the factors influencing their usage as sources of agricultural knowledge. For improving the accessibility of agricultural knowledge radio and television stations should perform agricultural knowledge needs and enhance timely dissemination of needed knowledge.
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    Factors influencing access to agricultural knowledge: The case of smallholder rice farmers in the Kilombero district of Tanzania
    (AOSIS, 2016) Mtega, Wulystan P.; Ngoepe, Mpho; Dube, Luyanda
    Background: Access to agricultural knowledge is important in transforming livelihoods of those relying on agriculture for a living and in enhancing food security. This access to agricultural knowledge is influenced by infrastructure needed for information dissemination. However, information infrastructure is not uniformly distributed within and between countries. It is because of this that some of the farming communities are information rich while others are information poor. In Tanzania, the agricultural sector is characterised by poor research-extension-farmers linkage and inaccessibility of agricultural knowledge at farm level Objective: The study investigated the factors influencing access to agricultural knowledge among smallholder rice farmers in the Kilombero district of Tanzania. Specifically, the study identified categories of agricultural knowledge needed by farmers, determined how farmers access agricultural knowledge, and assessed the factors limiting the accessibility of agricultural knowledge among rice farmers in the Kilombero district. Method: Quantitative data were collected via semi-structured questionnaires administered face-to-face with rice farmers, community leaders, and agricultural agents in four villages at the Kilombero district of the Morogoro region in Tanzania. Results: The key finding indicates that farmers accessed and used agricultural knowledge in undertaking agricultural activities. It was further revealed that the level of acquisition of agricultural knowledge increased with an increase in age. Farmers needed agricultural knowledge on land preparation, seed selection, and rice planting, while few acquired knowledge on agricultural markets. Among the agricultural knowledge sources used, demonstration plots and agricultural extension agents were found to be used by the majority of the farmers. It was also found that a limited number of demonstration plots, late delivery of information services, a limited number of agricultural extension agents, and poor information and communication technologies infrastructure hindered access to agricultural knowledge among rice farmers in the district. Conclusion: A strong public–private partnership is needed to enhance access to agricultural knowledge in rural areas. In this regard, the government should set up policies and strategies that motivate private sector investment and involvement in provision of agricultural knowledge in rural areas. The private sector should extend their agricultural-related activities to most rural areas so that more people can have access to agricultural knowledge.
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    Content coverage in local government authority websites in Tanzania: a web content analysis
    (University of Dar es Salaam Library Journal, 2019) Mtega, Wulystan Pius
    This study assessed the content coverage on local government authority websites in Tanzania to establish an understanding of their ability to serve as useful platforms for informing and communicating with the public. Specifically, the study has determined the thematic areas covered by web contents, identified the forms and types of web contents, and determined the intended audience and aims of the web contents on local government authority websites. Content analysis was used to determine the presence of certain words, themes, or concepts within the 11 randomly selected local government authority websites. The study’s findings indicate that content coverage on local government authority websites is very low. Moreover, most of the web contents were in less rich media and were specifically for providing news and alerts on current events rather than providing knowledge and complementing experts in the provision of services to local communities. The study concludes that with the low level of content coverage, local government authority websites cannot serve as one-stop information centres. It is recommended that local government authorities should generate more web contents for complementing their services rather than concentrating on news provision.
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    The Integration of library and e-learning systems: the case of selected public universities in Tanzania
    (Ubuntu Net, 2014) Mtega, Wulystan Pius; Benard, Ronard
    The current study investigated how library and e-learning services can be integrated together for improving teaching and learning in selected higher learning institutions in Tanzania. Specifically the study identified electronic technologies and applications used for providing library services; investigated how library applications and processes enhance access to contents for e-learning; determined library services incorporated in e-learning; determined how higher learning institutes in Tanzania support e-learning and; recommended on how library and e-learning services can be better integrated for improving teaching and learning. The study employed qualitative research approaches in determining how to integrate library and e-learning services, it involved three Tanzanian public universities namely: Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA), Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) and the Open University of Tanzania (OUT). Data was collected through web analysis, in-depth interviews and documentary reviews. Library directors/e-resources librarians, Information Communication Technology directors/technicians were involved in in-depth interviews. Findings indicate that the three institutions had the basic ICT infrastructure for e-library services and e-learning and used Moodle learning management systems. It is recommended that libraries should subscribe more e-resources and make them accessible through the e-learning platform; universities should have strategies to improve the ICT infrastructure from time to time depending on the demand and the increasing enrolment rates.
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    Challenges associated with the use of information and communication technologies in information sharing by fish farmers in the Southern highlands of Tanzania
    (Emerald, 2020) Dulle, F. W.; Lamtane, H.; Benard, R.
    Purpose – This paper aims to examine the challenges facing fish farmers in the use of information and communication technology (ICT) in information sharing on fish farming. Design/methodology/approach – This study used both quantitative and qualitative methods. It involved 240 fish farmers who were randomly selected. Questionnaires, focus group discussions (FGDs), observation and key informant’s interviews were used as methods of data collection. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyse quantitative data, while content analysis was used for qualitative data. Findings – It was found that the most frequently used ICTs by fish farmers in sharing agricultural information were mobile phones, radio and television. Also, the study revealed that major challenges facing fish farmers in sharing information include unfavourable radio or television broadcasting time, high cost of acquiring and maintenance of ICT facilities, lack of training on ICT, poor network connectivity and low level of literacy. Moreover, it was further found that there was negative significant relationship (P < 0.05) between challenges associated with the use and degree of ICT usage by fish farmers. Originality/value – The study is original with the exception of areas where citations have been made. Besides, it provides awareness and understanding of the challenges facing fish farmers in ICT usage in information sharing on fish farming, and this will enable improvement of timely provision and access to relevant information and hence improved fish farming production.
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    Extension system for improving the management of vegetable cropping systems
    (Lectito, 2018-11-01) Maginga, T. J.; Nordey, T.; Ally, M.
    Horticulture as the part of agriculture sector plays the role for food security, economic growth and nutrition improvement. In developing countries where agriculture is regarded as the backbone of most countries’ economy it draws attention for most governments as the main source of employment and livelihood for the majority. Agricultural extension has been the key facilitator for achieving high crop productivity and an enabler to knowledge resources for these countries. However, lack of clear information for vegetable cultivations, crop requirements, climatic information, pests and diseases to constantly help farmers to come up with proper potential yield of the vegetable crops reduce the potential of horticulture in improving the farmers livelihood and countries economic gain , Therefore, this study aims at bringing the ICT- enabled extension support system for farmers to help them make decision on proper ways of cultivating their crops based on locations’ and timely climatic condition.
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    Challenges of school libraries and quality education in Tanzania: A review
    (2019) Mubofu, C.; Malekani, A.
    Quality education is fundamental for pupils’ advancement in any country. School libraries are said to be the second class for pupils because of the important role they play in enhancing the quality of education. School libraries are the avenues for cultivating pupils’ morals, the important facade for improving pupils’ education quality and for effective facilities for developing special technical education, serving as a friendly place for increasing pupils’ total education quality. The general idea for school libraries is to intensify the quality of education in schools through provision of adequate facilities such as chairs, tables, textbooks and qualified library staff to guide pupils in appropriate usage of libraries for better performance and hence lead to quality education in the country. Despite of the tremendous contribution of school libraries in increasing the students’ performance it has been discovered that this role is not recognized by most of the government officials. The challenges such as staffing, funding, lack of standard library building and frequent change in curriculum that affects collection development need to be addressed by the government if at all the country has to provide quality education to her citizens.
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    The role of Institutional Repositories in making lost or hidden cultures accessible, a study across four African University Libraries
    (DigitalCommons@University of Nebraska - Lincoln, 2018) Malekani, A. W.; Kavishe, G.
    This study was undertaken to uncover the potential role that Institutional Repositories (IR) can offer to preserve in the long term the special collections (especially cultural heritage materials) so as to reap the advantages that these collections offer in terms of intellectual development in Africa. The study involved use of scoping review which involves five stages: research question, identifying the relevant study, selecting the study, developing a narrative review (charting data), summarizing (collating) data and an optional consultation step. The study also involved a Focus Group Discussion (FGD) involving participants in the Continuous Professional Development (CPD) programme at the University of Pretoria from various universities in sub-Saharan Africa. The study found that the potential roles of IRs were mainly centered in three levels: at user level, researcher level and the institution level. In the cultural heritage context, the study found that IR offers opportunities to enjoy replicas of artefacts and museum environments from a distance and to avoid the spatial and temporal limitations of an actual visit to a museum. In turn, the increased accessibility of cultural contents would underpin a process of democratization of culture, which openly resonated, with the main proposals of the New Museology thinking of the 1970s and 1980s. Based on this study, it is recommended that the rich culture of Africa stored in the name of special collections should be made known to the world and whoever wishes to know more about the continent and its culture.