The Centre for African Studies has set up archives to preserve the history of Tooro Kingdom and Kabarole district local government dating from 1910 to 1990s. The move follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the centre for African studies, which is located at Mountains, Tooro Kingdom and Kabarole district local government.
Under the MOU, the centre of African studies will be the custodian of the archives of both institutions. Some of the information that has been stored at the centre includes the local governmental records, colonial and postcolonial judiciary records, conduct of elections in the late 1950s and early 1960s, history of the Rwenzururu rebellion and the past population censuses in the region.
At the centre, the collections are first cleaned, sorted out in categories, catalogued before they are package and shelved. Moses Akugizibwe, the in-charge of the centre says that there was need to set up the archives because historical information about the two institutions wasn’t stored properly. Akugizibwe says some of the documents were in a very bad state when they collected them as they were covered in dust. He says the the information at the centre will be put to better use by readers and researchers.
He says that since the centre opened two months ago, there has been a big response from the community especially students in need of historical information about the two institutions.
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Akugizibwe says the archives will be digitized and put on the internet so that they can be accessed easily for purposes of research.
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The establishment of the centre is a relief to some members of the public, who have been finding difficulties accessing historical information especially about the past colonial government. Benjamin Mugisa, a resident of Fort Portal says that he has in the past searched for historical information in vain. Mugisa says there is a lot of ignorance about the importance of archives adding that, there is need to sensitize members of the public about the importance, usefulness and the future of archives.
Dorothy Nyakake, the Tooro Kingdom Culture minister says the establishment of the archive centre is overdue. Nyakake says the Kingdom has been turning away several people in need of historical information because of lack space to store it. She said that there is a wide range of Tooro Kingdom knowledge which relates to the history, language culture and customs that remains unexplored because of poor preservation.