The importance of fostering media and information literacy as a vital set of competencies was stressed by the participants of the International Policy Dialogue on UNESCO Information for All Programme (IFAP) Priority Areas in the BRICS countries. The conference organized by the African Centre of Excellence for Information Ethics (ACEIE) and the University of Pretoria, in collaboration with BRICS representatives, UNESCO and IFAP, took place on 4-6 July 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Delegates from 18 countries, representing academia, government, business and civil society attended the event and presented on research matters relating to the six IFAP priority areas, including information for development, information literacy, information preservation, information ethics, information accessibility and multilingualism.
The objectives of the Conference were to create a platform for the IFAP policy dialogue and to support the development of sustainable partnerships in BRICS, African countries and the Asia/Pacific Region. It facilitated strengthening the collaboration in the framework of IFAP to create and revitalize the existing IFAP structures in the BRICS and African countries.
UNESCO IITE was represented at the conference by Tatiana Murovana, the programme specialist responsible for the projects to promote media and information literacy (MIL) as a crucial literacy for insuring quality and inclusiveness of learning and teaching, and vital one for the success of lifelong learning. In her presentation, Ms. Murovana raised the issue of the need to further update the notion of MIL in line with the digital technologies development and changing realities of the world beyond the 4th industrial revolution.
The conference participants shared their visions of the particular challenges in their national contexts, but also global developments such as the continuing threats for information accessibility, linguistic diversity and multilingualism in cyberspace, rise of extremism and radicalization, barriers to the diffusion of information ethics, challenges of sustainable development and equitability. The relevance and value of cooperation within the BRICS countries for addressing those challenges were identified, debated and embodied in the Cape Town Declaration – the outcome document of the event.