Education Ministry launches first-ever National Records Restoration Facility
The Ministry of Education, Arts, and Culture, with financial support from the German Government, officially launched the country’s first-ever National Records Restoration Facility on Thursday at the National Archives of Namibia.
The National Archives ensures that records of national importance are preserved for the future. It also assists in repairing, restoring, and rejuvenating our records whenever necessary.
Gerard Vries, the Deputy Executive Director for Lifelong Learning, delivered remarks on behalf of the Executive Director of Education, Arts, and Culture Sanet Steenkamp who, in her message for the launch of the records restoration facility, highlighted the significance of the institution.
According to Steenkamp, the National Archives is one of the key institutions in the country with a statutory responsibility as enshrined in the Act of Parliament of 1992, Act Number 12 of 1992, to provide the nation with a well-documented and well-preserved collection of records that reflects the history and the aspirations of the Namibian people.
Steenkamp said the importance of records cannot be over-emphasized as they are pertinent in the day-to-day management of any business in any organisation that records organisational activities.
“They assist us to establish why a certain decision, for example, was taken, by whom, and when. Without proper records management practices, audits cannot be carried out, fraud cannot be proven, and those responsible for the financial management of the organisations cannot be held accountable for their actions,” added the Executive Director of Education
She noted that records deteriorate over time due to excessive handling, and hence the reason they are talking about restoration, a process that helps them to reverse the decay process and allow the original documents to be maintained in timelessness.
Meanwhile, the German Government supported the launch through the Landesarchiv, Baden-Württemberg, Stuttgart, at the total cost of N$1,306,167 inclusive of a donation of 3,500 Archival Boxes.
This is a result of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the government through the education ministry, the Directorate of the Namibia Library and Archives Service (NLAS), and the German Government.
“National archives guard the written and orally recorded memories of a nation and are a valuable source of information for its citizens. I am therefore delighted to see that German partners are supporting the National Archives of Namibia in its endeavor to preserve historical documents and make them accessible to all Namibians as well as visiting scholars,” said Ambassador Herbert Beck at the Opening of the Records Restoration Facility.
“The archival cooperation is part of Baden-Württemberg‘s so-called “Namibia Initiative,” said Ambassador Beck, adding that the project of the two archives is of particular importance in this regard since the National Archive of Namibia was founded in 1912 by the German colonial administration and therefore contains many significant records of that era.
The first milestone in the cooperation of the archives is records management, restoration, and conservation, he added.
“Besides training, creating the physical infrastructure in Windhoek plays an important role. Together, archivists from Germany and Namibia have created the new record restoration facility, which was put in place in just three weeks and has already started their work. Further training and other measures are already agreed upon,” the Ambassador concluded.