The Use of Social Media Technologies to Create, Preserve, and Disseminate Indigenous Knowledge and Skills to Communities in East Africa
Sylvia Owiny, Khanjan Mehta, and Audrey Maretzki
International Journal of Communication
Owiny, S., Mehta, K., Maretzki, A., International Journal of Communication, Vol 8, pp. 234-247, “The Use of Social Media Technologies to Create, Preserve, and Disseminate Indigenous Knowledge and Skills to Communities in East Africa,” 2014
The preservation, management, and sharing of indigenous knowledge is crucial for social and economic development in rural Africa. The high rate of illiteracy (print-based) in rural Africa and the exclusion of indigenous knowledge from Western education add to the information gap experienced in rural Africa. Other challenges facing oral cultures are the disappearance of traditional knowledge and skills due to memory loss or death of elders and the deliberate or inadvertent destruction of indigenous knowledge. The rapidly increasing use of social media and mobile technologies creates opportunities to form local and international partnerships that can facilitate the process of creating, managing, preserving, and sharing of knowledge and skills that are unique to communities in Africa. This article proposes the use of social media and mobile technologies (cell phones) in the creation, preservation, and dissemination of indigenous knowledge and discusses the role of libraries in the integration of social media technologies with older media that employ audio and audiovisual equipment to reach a wider audience.