Digital preservation of indigenous knowledge (IK) by cultural heritage institutions: a comparative study of Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda

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This paper strives to explore the state of digitisation of Indigenous Knowledge (IK) across the three countries: Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda. IK in Africa has gained momentum as a strategic resource for socio-economic development hence the need for its effective management. Many studies concur that the bulk of the world's heritage resources including digitally born resources have been lost and some cannot be recovered due to neglect. Digitisation is viewed as a tool that can be used to provide long-term preservation and global access to IK. To gain insight about the state of IK digitisation projects of the studied countries nine (9) cases were studied. Data presented and discussed in this paper was obtained through the use of semi-structured interviews. For one case of the nine, content analysis for the web-based portal of a national heritage repository was conducted. Secondary data was further obtained through document search of relevant print and electronic resources. Recommendations suggest the need for intensifying digitisation projects of IK found in rural communities; collaborative approach; increased funding and capacitating of information professionals in the digitisation of heritage resources.