Interview with Gracian Chimwaza, Executive Director ITOCA, South Africa and Research4Life Training Coordinator

Published: Tuesday 8th January 2013
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Gracian Chimwaza, is the founding director for ITOCA-Information Training & Outreach Centre for Africa www.itoca.org. He holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) degree from Thames Valley University, UK (2001), an electrical engineering diploma and a graduate diploma from Institute of Marketing Management (IMM). He is currently a PhD candidate at the Department of Information Science, University of Pretoria.  In the last 13 years, Chimwaza has undertaken extensive ICT outreach, capacity building and research missions in many African countries focusing on library e-resources access through the Research4Life and TEEAL programmes. He currently serves on the Research4Life Programs Executive Council, the IAALD Africa Executive Board and is also Chair of the International Advisory Group for the Mobilising Knowledge for Development (MK4D), Institute for Development Studies (UK). He has been an invited speaker in many international, regional and national-level policy meetings that address ICTs, knowledge sharing and capacity building in Africa.

  • How long have you been training in regards to the Research4Life Programmes? What are your focus countries?
    Since April 2004, and the focus countries have been Sub-Sahara Africa (in all four region, East, West, Central and Southern Africa)  
  • What has been some of the benefits you have seen directly from your training? Increased registrations for the R4L programs and usage of the programs in countries we have held training workshop?How has the training translated to capacity building for your institutions?
    Our approach is a train-the-trainer model and it’s been incredibly encouraging over the years to see participants go on to share the acquired skills with their colleague librarians, researchers and faculty when they return to their institutions after the workshops. The has helped to get the R4L word out to reach thousands at research and academic institutions across Africa.   
  • How has the training continued? (ie. Train the trainer)
    To date, ITOCA has conducted about 85 train-the-trainer workshops in attended by about 3,000 participants in 28 countries.  We estimate that the trained participants have reached at least 15,000 downstream as a result of the training workshops.  
  • How many institutes do you normally train in a year timespan, and what counties/cities have you done in the last six months?
    We have conducted 4 workshops in the last 6 months and on average ITOCA conducts 7-8 national workshops annually.

 

If you are interested in the Research4Life Train the Trainer Programme, contact