No country can fully achieve a knowledge-based socio-economic status if its archives are not well-preserved using modern technologies, experts have said.
The remarks were made recently during an International Archives Seminar in Kigali.
The three-day seminar brought together over 100 archives and library services specialists, archivists, librarians, and other stakeholders from Rwanda and abroad to support the Rwanda Archives and Library Services(RALSA) in the process of enhancing its professional capacity to fast attain international standards.
The Minister for Sports and Culture, Julienne Uwacu, said the Government is committed to achieving sustainable development based on knowledge, emphasising that RALSA has a key role to play in achieving this objective.
“Assessing the current state of keeping government archives can help us to elaborate how the country could effectively collect its records and keep them for future generations,” she said.
Uwacu added that the occasion served as a platfrom to raise awareness on the importance of intellectual documentary heritage in the socio-economic development of the country and consolidating its people’s dignity.
Rozaiah Ndejuru, an archives expert, said the seminar was a great opportunity to help RALSA to get better, and gain needful ideas in archiving and book management.
According to the Ministry of Sports and Culture, the national library had almost lost 100 per cent of its collection during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. Today, 44,500 documents from the colonial period, digitalised and in physical form, are in the national archives.
Currently, through the national archives, an estimated 5,250,00 pages have been electronically reviewed, properly filed, scanned and indexed. An additional 5,050,000 pages are physically managed.