25/11/2011

Kuwamba: Africa in a click

One of the photographs of Kuwamba: The writer Tanella Boni from the Ivory Coast at Casa África.

One of the photographs of Kuwamba: The writer Tanella Boni from the Ivory Coast at Casa África.

Africa in a click. With this idea, Casa África now launches Kuwamba, its virtual media library, a large stockroom that has free access, and makes up not only part of its Media Library's contents, one of the most comprehensive on African subjects in Spain, together with its "virtual memory" of all the activity that the public diplomacy consortium has been developing in Spain and Africa from its creation in 2008, available to the world. Access to the portal can be from either Casa África's website (www.casafrica.es) or the webpage www.kuwamba.es. The term Kuwamba means diffusion in Swahili.

Casa África's Media Library currently has 6,400 records in its documentary and multimedia contents. Launched in April 2008, it has received more than 16,759 visits at the centre and more than 14,000 from the Casa África website, which in 2010 featured 4,750 specific enquiries to the on-line catalogue, and the preparation of 240 documentation dossiers. Currently, Casa África's Media Library is one of two specialist bibliographic centres by bibliographic volumes on Sub-Saharan subjects in Spain and is the most up to date in information resources.

Besides the Media Libary's contents, Kuwamba shows the work of nearly two years of content digitalisation of all the activities that Casa África has been developing in the Canary Islands, Spain and Africa. In this way Casa África goes from being an information warehouse to a generator of contents. Through Kuwamba, you will be able to attend or return to some of the events organised by the institution. The portal gathers together for example the recordings of writers that participated in the African Letters programme, (Jamal Mahjoub, Tanella Boni, Henri Lopes or Boubacar Boris Diop, among others), the programmes and conferences held in the many encounters between Africans and Spaniards  (for example a conference from the daughter of the historian from Burkina Faso Joseph Ki-Zerbouna  and another by the historian Lylian Kesteloot) or allows us to revisit photographs, videos and gain access to catalogues of exhibitions such as the Congolese La SAPE (of the photographers  Héctor Mediavilla and Badouin Mouanda), or Desvelos, by Angèle Etoundi of Cameroon.

Kuwamba is, above all, an open door to African contents for anybody interested in Africa, who will thus be able to directly find out the opinion and vision of Africans, in any area and any artistic discipline. Other novelties of this portal is that it facilitates information through its contents labelling, and therefore goes one step further for its users in offering a reasonable navigation that is easier for searches. In this way it is created as a semantic website.

Kuwamba has also a large participative side, because it offers people that connect up the possibility of registering and recommending their favourite contents to other users, not only at the portal itself but also through social networks.

Kuwamba has been placed in Casa África's website, which receives an average of 10,000 monthly visits. Technically it is a streaming server with a 2.7 TB capacity to store documents in .pdf and flash, videos, songs, etc. which can be accessed from the webpage www.kuwamba.es, and as a rule, with limitless concurrent users. 

Kuwamba will be presented this Tuesday 29th November, as part of the  3rd Meeting of  Library Science: The book collections, cooperation for development and new technologies, which are held at Casa África (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria) will have the presence of representatives from Spanish and African libraries and experts in the copyright field.

 

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