Aluka Country Committee Meeting, Lisbon 2006
Lisbon, Portugal, 28-29 September 2006
A meeting was held in Lisbon at the Centre for Africa Studies on the invitation of Aluka. The purpose was to establish an Aluka Country Committee in Angola. The Nordic Africa Institute, project coordinator Nina Frödin, was invited as an observer due to existing partnership with stakeholders in Angola.
The first day was mostly dedicated to take stock of existing material in and out of Angola when it comes to document collections, critical texts, oral history, iconographies, photos etc. The largest holdings in Angola were believed to exist with the National Archives and with the Tchiweka Centre. Ms Rosa de la Cruz, Director of the National Archives, informed the meeting of the ongoing projects of documenting oral history and of scanning older documents. Project Tchiweka, documents the material of Lucio Lara, one of the founders of MPLA. This far, one book with annotated material has been published and a second volume is under way. The project has opened a centre that strives to become a repository for private and smaller archives open to the public, primary target group students and researchers. Ms Wanda Lara, project coordinator of Tchiweka provided a detailed lists of available material to the meeting. It was also noted that a lot of information on Angola exists outside the country. Participants from Brazil and Portugal went through preliminary findings and the UN records where also accounted for. Issues such as ownership, copy rights and laws on publishing personal names and information on the internet were important matters dealt with where Ms Frödin told of experiences from the documentation project at NAI and EU regulations. Angola and USA have less strict regulations on this matter and the committee will continue discussions on the matter, in particular when it comes to handling material found in Europe.
As Aluka convened the meeting to discuss a country committee, the second day focused on forming a preliminary committee to later unite in Luanda. The purpose of the committee is to discuss the issue of documentation, to take stock of what exactly exists, determine relevance of documents and select a small collection to be scanned and described for the Aluka project. Such country committees haven been established in other countries such as Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa, the later have been working for full capacity since a few years. The preliminary members: Artur Júlio, Conceição Neto, Jardo Muekali a, Jean Michel Tali, Lucas Ngonda, Marcelo Bittencourt, Rosa Cruz e Silva. The members represent both the academia as well as the political sphere.
Aluka is a not-for-profit international collaboration of educational and cultural institutions. The mission is to build a high-quality scholarly resource of materials from and about Africa. Aluka’s web-based platform provides powerful tools for research, teaching, collaboration, and knowledge exchange. Aluka website: www.aluka.org.