BHL Africa is Launched

Beginning on April 12, I had the privilege of attending the launch of a new partner in the BHL family:  BHL Africa.  On April 12, 2013, BHL and the University of Pretoria signed a Memorandum of Understanding as one step towards the BHL Africa.

Then from April 15-17, 2013 we attended the BHL-Africa launch and workshop, hosted by the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) at the Pretoria National Botanical Garden in Pretoria, South Africa.  MOUs were gathered from a number of African partners, including the National Museums of Kenya, Uganda National Council for Science and Technology, University of Nairobi, Sokoine National Agricultural University in Tanzania, National Environment Management Authority of Uganda, Lake Victoria Basin Commission, African Conservation Commission, and the Kenya Wildlife Service.  SANBI signed the MOU with BHL in a ceremony on April 15.

Dr. Nancy Gwinn and Dr. Tanya Abrahamse sign the BHL-Africa MOU
The launch of BHL Africa became a reality!  Once BHL Africa was launched, a workshop followed with presentations by BHL members about Collections, Copyright, Governance, Global BHL and Outreach.  We shared how we have reached the current state with our African colleagues and fielded questions.

BHL Africa Launch attendees
BHL Africa Launch attendees from all over Africa and some of us from the US.

BHL Africa Executive Committee
BHL Africa Steering Committee, from left to right: Lawrence Monda (Technical Advisor), Ashah Owano, Loi Namugenyi, Anne-Lise Fourie, Ria Groenewald
The next step was to elect officers for the BHL AfricaSteering Committee so  everyone can get to work!  We look forward to sharing content along with our process and seeing a whole new set of information added to the BHL with open access for all.

There was even time to do a little sight-seeing.  Congratulations to BHL Africa--the energy, enthusiasm and sheer hard work we witnessed will ensure success.
There was time for a short field trip to the Pilanesberg National Park.