The Standing Conference of Eastern, Central and Southern African Library and Information Associations (SCECSAL) derives its origins from the East African Library Association (EALA) founded in 1957. In 1970, when participating countries dissolved the EALA, they agreed to retain the biennial conference. Countries in the sub-region were invited to the next biennial conference that was held in Dar es Salaam. With time, more countries joined the conference. As of now, SCECSAL is possibly the largest and fastest growing professional association in Africa. Today, the conference is characterized by a great diversity of ideas and experiences, which make it an outstanding Library and Information event on the African professional calendar. The first SCECSAL was held in the city of Dar es Salaam (1974) and subsequently Lusaka (1976), Nairobi (1978), Maseru (1980), Blantyre (1982), Harare (1984), Gaborone (1986), Mbabane (1988), Kampala (1990), Dar es Salaam (1992), Blantyre (1994), Maseru (1996), Nairobi (1998), Windhoek (2000), Johannesburg (2002), Kampala (2004), Dar es Salaam (2006), Lusaka (2008), Gaberone (2010), Nairobi (2012), Lilongwe (2014), Ezulwini, Swaziland (2016), Entebbe (2018), Windhoek (2021) and Johannesburg (2022).
The Standing Conference of Eastern, Central and Southern African Library and Information Associations (SCECSAL) is a regional forum for Library and Information Associations in Africa. It is a non-profit organization that was established in 1977 to promote the development of libraries and information services in the region. SCECSAL has a membership of over 20 National Library and Information Associations from Eastern, Central, and Southern Africa.
SCECSAL’s mission is to:
  1. Promote the development of libraries and information services in Eastern, Central, and Southern Africa
  2. Encourage cooperation and collaboration among library and information professionals in the region
  3. Advocate for the importance of libraries and information services to governments and policymakers
  4. Provide professional development opportunities for library and information professionals in the region
  5. Promote the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) for libraries and information services in the region
SCECSAL’s activities include:
  • Organizing biennial conferences Conducting research and publishing reports on library and information issues in the region
  • Providing training and workshops for library and information professionals in the region
  • Developing and implementing advocacy campaigns
  • Networking with other regional and international library and information organizations


The theme of the conference is “Transforming Libraries, Empowering Communities“. The conference will provide a platform for librarians, information professionals, and other stakeholders to share ideas and best practices on how to transform libraries and empower communities in Eastern, Central, and Southern Africa.

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Main Theme

Re-Imagining Information Products and Services for the Digital Era.


  • Research data management
  • Data science and analytics
  • Information space design and management
  • Advocacy, networking and alliance building
  • Knowledge management
  • Assistive technologies
  • Radio Frequency Identification
  • Self-service technologies
  • Digital library platforms
  • Information and knowledge discovery tools
  • Continuous professional development
  • Accreditation of LIS programmes
  • Research excellence in LIS
  • Innovative curricula and programmes
  • Internationalization and contextualization of LIS training
  • Pedagogy in LIS
  • Challenges and opportunities of emerging technologies in LIS training
  • Information and sustainable development
  • User-centric information product and service design
  • Crisis information services
  • Services and products for people with special needs
  • Information governance
  • Copyright and intellectual property management
  • Privacy, open data and data protection
  • Cybersecurity and safety in digital spaces
  • Digital citizenship
  • Disinformation, mal-information and misinformation
  • Digital archiving
  • Electronic document and records management systems
  • Intelligent records management
  • Disaster and risk management
  • Metadata and classification

Past Conferences

SCECSAL Standing Conferences are held biennialy and are hosted by SCECSAL member Associations. Hosts for future conferences are confirmed during the SCECSAL General Assembly meeting which is held on the last day of the SCECSAL Standing Conference. Here are some of the most recent conferences.

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XXV SCECSAL/LIASA Conference: Against all odds: Resilience of libraries in a post-truth world - Reimagining, repurposing and rediscovering libraries in a post-truth world. 4 - 7 October 2022

The conference was jointly hosted by the Standing Conference of Eastern, Central and Southern African Library and Information Associations (SCECSAL) and the Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA).
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XXIV SCECSAL Conference: Inclusive libraries and information services towards achieving prosperity for sustainable development. 8 - 11 February 2021.

The XXIV SCECSAL Conference was held virtually from 8-11 February 2021. The conference was organized by the National Information Workers Association of Namibia (NIWA) and was originally scheduled to be held in Windhoek, Namibia, from 20-24 April 2020. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the conference was postponed and held virtually.
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XXIII SCECSAL Conference: Positioning library and information services to achieve sustainable development: innovations and partnerships. 23 - 27 April 2018.

The XXIII SCECSAL Conference, titled “Positioning Library And Information Services To Achieve Sustainable Development: Innovations And Partnerships,” was held from April 23 to 27, 2018, in Entebbe, Uganda. The conference brought together librarians, information professionals, and stakeholders from Eastern, Central, and Southern Africa to discuss the role of libraries and information services in achieving sustainable development.