Digitisation of Indigenous Knowledge in the Forestry Sector in Ghana

Project Team: Margaret Sraku-Lartey, Stella Britwum Acquah, Sparklar Samar Brefo, Gloria Djagbletey and Naomi Appiah

Client: Elsevier Foundation

Project Duration: 2015-2016

Background

In Ghana, there is hardly any system of recording, documenting and preserving indigenous knowledge (IK) or information, let alone a mechanism for capturing IK to cope with dynamic world needs. An option that can be pursued is for the IK so captured to be digitised and stored for later use. Digitisation is ideal for sharing, exchanging, educating, and preserving indigenous knowledge and cultures. This requires a clear design for metadata standards and procedures, multimedia technologies and appropriate structures for access and use.

The objectives for this project are to:

  1. Identify, capture, document and digitise indigenous knowledge on forest foods and medicinal plants.
  2. Create a database of indigenous knowledge so identified
  3. Share knowledge of useful IK practices and their usage and thereby preserve the information to promote their wider application.
  4. Establish a relationship between the knowledge identified and modern science
  5. Develop a manual of procedures and best practices to document the knowledge so identified
  6. Train researchers, librarians and information management personnel in the management of indigenous knowledge.
  7. Explore the importance of indigenous knowledge systems in livelihood and socio-economic development in Ghana
  8. Assess the contribution of indigenous knowledge to scientific research