Headed by Coetzee Bester and Hellen Agnes Amunga
The African Information Ethics tradition is a proud and long one. Its foundations are the brain child of Rafael Capurro, Johannes Britz, Theo Bothma, Dennis Ocholla, Coetzee Bester and Stephen Mutula. The collaborative efforts between these and other individuals, and UNESCO, resulted in the formation of the African Network for Information Ethics (ANIE). ANIE was established in 2007 due to the effort and dedication of a group of scholars, government officials and visionaries across Africa. Together with the support of the international Information Ethics community, ANIE has flourished to over 600 participants across 25 countries globally. In February 2017 the 5th international ANIE conference celebrated the ANIEversary - marking 10 years of active Information Ethics projects in Africa.
Since the establishment of ANIE, the community together with UNESCO and the South African Government, collaborated to establish the African Centre of Excellence for Information Ethics (ACEIE) in 2012. The ACEIE is currently hosted by the Department of Information Science at the University of Pretoria, South Africa.
Background and research between 2007 and 2019
The first phase was highlighted by the establishment of the academic based Africa Network on Information Ethics (ANIE), an International Conference on Information Ethics in African as well as the research and publications. These results produced the African Centre of Excellence for Information Ethics (ACEIE) at the University of Pretoria in 2012. The ACEIE was established according to a UP Senate decision on 17 May 2012. The ACEIE is based at the Department of Information Science within the Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology at the University of Pretoria and is managed according to the policies and procedures of the University of Pretoria. ANIE was also expanded to include various ANIE Chapters in the 24 participating African countries. In these countries more than 110 tertiary education and government institutions became part of the Information Ethics Network.
During this phase of activities the ACEIE Co-Chaired the International Centre for Information Ethics (ICIE) as well as the UNESCO Information for All Program (IFAP) secretariat for South Africa. During this phase the ACEIE activities were funded by a formal Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) between the South African Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services and the University of Pretoria. The MoA was renewed in January 2016 and was in effect until March 2018. During this time the ACEIE received funding and support from: UNESCO (2011, 2014, 2015, 2018), Department of Communications (2012 - 2014) and the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services (2015 - 2017). During this time the ACEIE conducted more than 130 workshops and conferences in various African countries and published 13 books.
Information Ethics in Africa Community Senior Council
To ensure visibility, sustainability and the unimpeded progress of Information Ethics in Africa, the IE in Africa Community Senior Council provide guidance to the ICIE, serving the best interests for and from Africa.
Dr Coetzee Bester studied at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, where he completed his Doctorate in Information Science (2018). Prior to that his studies included an undergraduate degree in anthropology, a postgraduate diploma in tertiary education, and a master’s degree (cum laude) in Information Science (1999). This master’s study resulted in an integrated model for management of information in community development projects in Africa. Prior to his academic focus he served as a Member of Parliament in South Africa (1994-1999) and was a member of the Constitution Writing Assembly that finalized the historic Constitution for South Africa. Coetzee Bester is the former director of the African Center of Excellence for Information Ethics (ACEIE) based in the Department of Information Science at the University of Pretoria. He currently serves as the Chair for IFAP South Africa and is a member of the UNESCO IFAP Information Ethics Working Group. Dr Bester is currently one of the coordinators of the Information Ethics Network for Africa (IEN4A), at the Future Africa Institute | University of Pretoria.
Hellen Agnes Amunga
Hellen Amunga currently teaches at the Department of Library and Information Science at the University of Nairobi. She chairs the Department’s Grants and Fundraising Committee; and the Research, Conferences and Publications Committee. She holds a PhD in Library and Information Science from Kerala University under a merit scholarship from the Indian Council for Cultural Relations; and Master of Education (Library & Information Science) and Bachelor of Education (Library Studies and Kiswahili) degrees, both from Kenyatta University. Prior to her joining the university of Nairobi, Hellen was a career Teacher Trainer at college and university levels. She also worked as Lecturer and e-Learning Coordinator for the School of Education, Kenyatta University; and as a Documentalist/Librarian at the Kenya National Academy of Science. She is a former Honorary Secretary of the Kenya Library Association and a founding member and Jury of its Maktaba Awards (Library of the Year Awards). A collaborator who is trained in Pedagogy, e-Learning and Information Science, Hellen has and continues to share her cross-sectoral expertise through partnerships in conference-hosting and continuous professional development workshops. She has previously partnered with UNESCO, Intel Corporation, the Goethe-Institute, the Jomo Kenyatta Foundation, the African Network for Information Ethics, the Library Collective and Makerere University. She is a member of the UNESCO/IFAP Working Group on Information Preservation and the Innovation Society. Hellen is a Joint Secretary of the International Association of Research Scholars (IARS) as well as a Managing Editor for the IARS Journal. She is a two-time (2020 & 2021) World Literacy Foundation Ambassador. She is the founder of Literacy Impact – a community-based initiative that provides access to information services through her home library and an international cultural exchange program for children.