Congratulations to 15 African Library Innovators
Exciting learning opportunity in Asia for 15 IYALI (Initiative for Young African Library Innovators) participants

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Librarians from Plunge Smart Park Library tell IYALI 2017 participants about their award-winning virtual tour of Plunge Park during a workshop in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Congratulations to 15 IYALI (Initiative for Young African Library Innovators) participants, who will travel to southeast Asia for an intensive learning experience.

IYALI is a peer learning and international networking experience for African public librarians, organized by the EIFL Public Library Innovation Programme (EIFL-PLIP), in partnership with the African Library and Information Associations and Institutions (AfLIA) and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA). The initiative aims to expose emerging public library innovators from Africa to experiences and ideas in other developing and transition economy countries.


The 15 participants represent public and community libraries that serve urban and rural communities from 12 African countries.

Cameroon - Harouna Ahmadou Saliou Yerima, Head of Garoua Municipal Library. Garoua is a port city on the banks of the Benue River in Northern Cameroon. Harouna wishes to introduce innovative library services targeting specific groups in the city, like prisoners, hospital patients and refugees.

Egypt - Mostafa Mohammad Tuhami Emara, Deputy Branch Manager of Misr Public Library-Zaytoun branch. Zaytoun is a district of Egypt’s capital city, Cairo. Mostafa wishes to improve the computer, internet and other digital technology services offered by the library.

Ghana - Jacobson Cudjoe, Assistant Librarian with the Ghana Library Authority in Accra. Jacobson, who is based at Greater Accra Regional Library, wishes to provide a library education programme about the importance of social security and pensions. The programme would especially reach out to women selling produce at local markets.


  • Joan Njoki Njogu, ICT Officer at Kenya National Library Service-Meru Public Library. The vast majority of the people of Meru, in eastern Kenya, do not use computers or the internet. Joan would like to introduce new services that encourage people to come to the library for digital skills training.
  • Joseck Olala, ICT Officer at Nakuru Public Library, Kenya National Library Service. The library serves Nakuru County, whose population is predominantly young people, many of whom live in impoverished conditions in Rhonda slum. The library empowers the community through digital learning programmes.
  • Koi Kazungu, Senior Library Assistant at Kwale Community Library, Kenya National Library Service, which serves communities in Kwale County on Kenya’s south coast. His vision is to improve literacy and increase access to information, especially among young people.


  • Frieda Haihambo, Librarian at Tsumeb Public Library. Tsumeb is a small town in northern Namibia. Frieda’s dream is to equip the library with computers and the internet, and to use them in services that meet community needs.
  • Martha Naitsuwe Nampola - Assistant Librarian at Oshana Regional Library. Martha’s library serves communities in Oshakati and Ongwediva townships and surrounding villages in northern Namibia. She wishes to introduce new library services and local language resources relevant to farmers, herders and people running small businesses.

Nigeria - Ranti Ishola, Assistant Library Officer at Oyo State Library Board, which operates four libraries serving Oyo State in southwestern Nigeria. Ranti wishes to set up an e-library of resources and databases that are relevant to community needs.

Sierra Leone - Momoh Mansaray, Librarian at Kambia district library, a branch of the Sierra Leone Library Board. Kambia is a trading centre in Sierra Leone’s Northern Province. Momoh wishes to improve people’s perceptions about the library’s resources and services, and so attract more people into the library.

South Africa - Mthandazo Disire Ntsham, Librarian with Sarah Baartman Municipality Joubertina public library (Eastern Cape Province). Mthandazo plans to train librarians to integrate digital technology into community literacy programmes.

Tanzania - Fredy Castory Mpoma, Regional Assistant Librarian with the Tanzania Library Services Board. Fredy is based at Mtwara Regional Library in southeastern Tanzania. He wishes to introduce services in which librarians take a more active role in providing information, for example, by organizing educational seminars and ICT and e-literacy training.

Uganda - Betty Kabanyoro Wamara, Senior Assistant Librarian at Hoima Municipal Council Public Library, which serves the town of Hoima in Uganda’s Western Region. Betty wishes to transform the library to become a place where people can meet, share information and experiences, as well as find relevant information.

Zambia - Pezo Given Kajimalwendo, Librarian at Ndola Public Library, which serves the town of Ndola, the main centre for Zambia’s copper mining industry. Pezo’s wishes to revamp the children’s section of her library, for all children, but also to serve the needs of children living with disability.

Zimbabwe - Letshani Ndlovu - Chief Librarian at Bulawayo Public Library. Letshani’s vision is for her library to play a central role in the lives of citizens of Bulawayo by becoming more active in providing information, particularly about democracy and current affairs.


IYALI builds on EIFL’s broader capacity building programme for public librarians in Africa, which supports public library service innovation.

IYALI 2018 participants will have the opportunity to:

  • Attend a Young African Library Innovators workshop in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, and visit public libraries that are providing innovative, non-traditional services (20 - 24 August 2018).
  • Take part in the IFLA World Library and Information Congress 2018 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and connect with IFLA leaders, programme associates and representatives of national library associations and libraries from across the world (25 - 29 August 2018).
  • Enter a competition to win a scholarship to attend and share experiences at the 2019 Conference of AfLIA.

This is the second group of IYALI participants. In 2017, the first group of young African library innovators took part in a learning experience in Lithuania and Poland.