Just as in the old days when the industrial economy needed raw materials from around the World and set up trade routes to access those resources, in the information economy these raw materials are digital or digitised media collections. So we have spent the last decade setting up a ‘digital trade route’ from Africa to relevant audiences in Africa and around the World. And we have done so in such a way that ensures the ownership and control over the digital collections and their use stays in the hands of African media creators and the custodians of African collections.
Our passion at Africa Media Online is “Africans telling Africa’s Story”. The problem in society, and what we want to be a part of resolving, is the lack of an African perspective in the telling of the African story. More often than not, in the global media or heritage sphere, Africa’s story is told, both to a global and an African audience, by those who do not have Africa as their home. While we have no problem with this (and even encourage when appropriate) we also believe that for information democracy to flourish, African voices should also be heard on their own terms both in Africa and on the global stage. Hence the ‘digital trade route’, where we hope to enable ‘Africans to tell Africa’s Story’.
Okay, so what is this digital trade route? Well, it is really everything we do in the service of enabling African media creators, or the custodians of African collections, to get the collections into digital form and to the audience they wish to reach. That audience may simply be your own staff or family, it may be the public you serve as an organisation, or it may be global publishing and broadcast markets. The ‘digital trade route’ is made up of systems, products, services and relationships that we have been working on for over a decade.
Digital Trade Route
Africa Media Online’s MEMAT is a carefully thought-out Archival Digital Repository System from an organisation that has been managing media files for heritage institutions for close to a decade. MEMAT conforms closely to the ISO standard for long term archiving of digital media, the OAIS standard. Read more