Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to discuss the status, trends and challenges of library and information education and training in Eastern and Southern Africa. It notes that library and information education and training in Africa is undergoing rapid change, with difficult challenges to be overcome. For example, during the past 20 years, the number of library schools has grown in some regions and declined in some, such as South Africa. Common LIS factors include amalgamation, re-orientation, and curriculum review and revision.
Design/methodology/approach – The authors' extensive experience with and exposure to LIS education has been used together with observations and literature survey in the field to inform this paper.
Findings – It is evident that LIS schools have, to a greater or lesser extent, been redesigning their curricula to keep track of the latest developments in the information world and keep their teaching market-related. New qualification programmes have been developed to provide opportunities for further specialization. In many cases departments have changed their names to reflect these new focus areas and extensions, and in many cases departments have realigned themselves within their universities. It is evident that LIS schools have taken the challenges of the changing information environment very seriously, and have adapted their curricula, their names and their institutional alignments to reflect these changes.
Research limitations/implications – The paper raises fundamental issues concerning trends, challenges and opportunities for LIS education and training in eastern and southern Africa by largely drawing examples from the authors' experience and related African studies in the domain.
Practical implications – The paper provides useful current information to inform LIS educators, researchers, students and other stakeholders on the issues and challenges of LIS education in the region.
Originality/value – Information provided in this paper is of value for comparative studies on LIS education and training. The paper is current and largely informed by participant observation, participation and experiential knowledge that is fresh and well informed.