In accordance with the Parliament of Botswana’s responsibility as a subscribing member of the Association of Parliamentary Libraries in the Eastern and Southern Africa [APLESA], she therefore has been accorded the responsibility to host the 2018 conference scheduled for the 28th May-1st June 2018 at GICC. The theme for the conference is ‘’Realigning Parliamentary Library Services Achievement of SDGs’’
APLESA was formally formed in Harare, Zimbabwe, in October 1994 when participants of eleven countries in the southern and eastern regions of Africa met. Currently the Association has 17 parliaments as members: Angola, Botswana, East African Legislative Assembly [EALA], Pan African Parliament [PAP], Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
• To promote cooperation and resource sharing amongst member parliaments.
• To promote communication and networking amongst members
• To promote capacity building amongst members
• To promote best services in service delivery within parliamentary libraries
In the past APLESA has, and continues to work with international organizations such as the International Federation of Library Association [IFLA], International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications [INASP] and International Development Research Centre [IDRC]
APLESA is the only regional conference that caters for parliamentary libraries and information services in Africa. It is a stimulating week of presentations, interactive sessions and discussions that brings parliamentary librarians and information professionals to address issues of mutual interest and challenges related to legislative information and library and information services. During the conference delegates have the opportunity to share experiences and knowledge through in-depth analysis, panel discussions and networking.
Member Parliaments host the conference on a rotational basis and Botswana last hosted this conference in 2001. The APLESA conferences are normally held in April or May every year across the African continent.
In 2015 the APLESA conference was hosted by the Parliament of Kenya followed by Angola. Botswana has been requested to host the 2018 gathering considering the fact that she [Botswana] last hosted in 2001. There will be no significant financial gains in hosting the 2018 conference, nevertheless, there are advantages of positive gains from hosting the conference and they include the following:
• Botswana as a host will have the opportunity to influence the agenda from a local perspective.
• The hosting of the conference will serve as a sign of Parliament of Botswana’s commitment to the regional association.
• The conference will allow Botswana to show case its culture and tourism attraction to the delegates. My Botswana, My Pride, selling Botswana to the outside world.
• The conference will give parliamentary library and information professionals to discuss, share experiences, innovations and development ideas amongst themselves.