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South Africa and China National Libraries collaborate
The National Library of South Africa (NLSA) has been working closely with their Chinese counterparts. This collaboration was expressed by the attendance of NLSA staff members at a seminar in Beijing and the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the NLSA and the National Library of China (NLC).

Seminar for Library Senior Executives in Beijing, China
From the 8th to the 29th of April 2014, NLSA staff members, Isaac Nkadimeng and Roselle Jansen van Vuuren, attended a seminar for Library Senior Executives of English African Countries in Beijing, China. The three South Africans, Betty Baloyi, Isaac and Roselle, joined the rest of the African delegation from seven countries: Ethiopia (3), Ghana (2), Mauritius (2), Nigeria (3), South Sudan (3), Sudan (2) and Zimbabwe (3). The twenty-two member African delegation came from academic, national and public libraries and the national archives.

The purpose of the seminar was to provide a training programme for artistic and cultural professionals from various countries. The area of focus was libraries and culture. The seminar was conducted in the form of lectures and visits to different types of institutions, such as libraries, museums and heritage centres.

The delegation was based at CACA which is the education and training institution directly under the Ministry of Culture of the People's Republic of China. Its functions are executive training, teaching, research and consulting services. It focuses on conduction training seminars in cultural administration and business management for officials in the Ministry. It has established cooperative relationships with a number of international education and training organizations in the United States and Western Europe.

The seminar gave attendees a new dimension and perspective. It increased their knowledge of preservation of culture and heritage collection, libraries and work ethics. They traveled to different provinces and learnt about Chinese culture and lifestyle. They reported that the Chinese were very committed people and passionate about their country.

The Africans delegation also learned a lot from each other. They discussed what to request and suggest from the Chinese trainers. They also discussed and encouraged possible bilateral agreements and exchange programmes. Isaac was elected by the committee to give a final speech on their behalf.

Isaac Nkadimeng, Preservation Services
Roselle Jansen van Vuuren, Document Supply Services

NLSA and NLC signs Memorandum of Understanding
The NLSA and the National Library of China (NLC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 22 May 2014 at NLSA Pretoria campus. The MoU will be valid for the period of four years, from 2014 to 2017. The intention of the MoU is to establish a collaboration agreement between the two national libraries. Both libraries hold important collections of a wide variety of primary and secondary source materials for research in history, literatures, cultures and related fields.

The MoU between the NLSA and NLC will be established within the framework of the existing cultural relations between the Republic of South Africa and the People's Republic of China. The objective is to extend the sphere of collaboration to better equip both institutions.

During the signing of MoU the National Librarian, Prof. Rocky Ralebipi-Simela, said that the MoU would strengthen the strategic partnership between the two institutions and continue the exchange of experiences and expertise. Prof. Ralebipi-Simela further stated that the collaboration will benefit the nation as it would enable the NLSA to acquire skills that will be utilised to preserve the national documentary heritage materials, and to support the Department of Arts and Culture's programme of action aligned with Mzansi Economy and social cohesion.

Speaking on behalf of the National Library of China, Mr Yin Yali, Cultural Counselor of the Embassy of the People's Republic of China, said South Africa and China have a long history of cooperation. He indicated that the two libraries have a duty to continue to promote and exchange their cultural activities.

Muponisi Nkuna, Corporate and International Relations Department



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