Over the last few years, CODESRIA has had to deliver on its mandate in increasingly creative ways so as to take into account the digital trajectory of our current knowledge economies. This was especially made urgent at the onset of the COVID 19 pandemic where the Council, like most institutions, had to pivot and adapt very quickly to a new way of working. While our digital transformation begun before the pandemic, COVID 19 and its sudden disruptions accelerated the need to fully embrace systems that would digitally connect us with our growing community.
Our latest transformation effort is a new website. This has been long been anticipated. We believe that developing appropriate mechanisms for our community to efficiently engage with the Council is key and a new website with upgraded features is one such mechanism. In the past, we were unable to launch the new website due to irregular and obsolete content. We have now updated our content and the Council currently exists on a range of other digital social platforms. We are ready to unveil a new website as a gateway to a CODESRIA that is more digitally accessible, visible, and inventive in how it aims to serve the community of social science and humanities scholars.
The website will emphasize how we engage, connect and update the community on our activities. These will include:
- A revamped membership portal that allows individuals and institutions to apply for membership.
- A digital bookshop accessed exclusively through the website where books will be available for purchase either as soft copies and/or physical copies.
- An upgraded payment system that allows the community to pay for and renew their membership, buy books, and donate to the Council.
- A new online publications system with a Books Publication System and a Journal Management System. The importance of finally moving our book and journal management systems fully online cannot be overstated. The system is more efficient and effective and will allow users to monitor the progress of their manuscripts in real time.
- An online submission system that allows users to submit applications for CODESRIA activities and vacancies.
- An archiving system that is currently under construction.
In 2023, the Council will mark 50 years of existence. This represents 50 years of amassing intellectual and programmatic outputs that not only trace the evolution of the Council but tell the story of its imprint in the social science and humanities sphere in Africa and beyond. The Council intends, through our library, to present digitized versions of some of the important knowledge that has been generated. In addition to this, we intend to re-organize and archive all the information on concluded programmes and activities that have been on our old website.
The website’s vibrant design speaks to the inventive spirit that we aim to make part and parcel of CODESRIA’s future.
Clearly, our digital transformation is not complete. It is a journey we hope the community will take with us. Join us by sharing your thoughts and ideas on what this digital era of CODESRIA should look like.
I am incredibly excited about the journey and truly believe that the best of CODESRIA is yet to come.
Godwin R. MURUNGA