Managing indigenous knowledge systems in Botswana using informatio and communication technologies
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Indigenous Knowledge (IK)and Indigenous Knowledge Systems(IKSs)have long been undermined especially in Africa. Due to its intrinsic values and the advancement of information and communication Technologies (ICTs), only recently IK has begun to gain attention. However, it is often misinterpreted and misundderstood, while it should be recognised like any other knowledge system in order to make the most of this precious knowledge. In the above context, this paper focuses on the role of ICTs in capturing, storing and disseminating indigenous knowledge for socio-economic development in Africa in general and Botswana in particular. The paper introduces the concept of IK and IKSs. Thereafter, the paper deliberates on the benefits of IK and the relationship between ICTs and IK, followed by the current trends in ICT, IKS and poverty alleviation. The paper discusses IKS and ICT policy initiatives and implementation in Botswana, and the major challenges. Finally, this paper concludes with the recommendation on strong partnership between Government of Botswana and other stakeholders, integration of appropriate ICTs into IKSs, legal and regulatory framework, empowerment of local people, establishment of National IKS Knowledge Systems database and recognise the need of active involvement of informational professionals. This paper was based on desk-top research/review of relevant literature and the authors' observations and points of view.