Salim Digital Archive launched in Tanzania
By Desmond Davis
Published Online:October 9, 2023
Republished from: ALC Pan-African Radio
Diplomatic legacy: Salim Salim and late UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan
Image: UN Photo/Joao Araujo Pinto[/caption]
THE Tanzanian President, Samia Suluhu Hassan, has launched the Dr Salim Ahmed Salim Digital Archive (www.salimahmedsalim.com), which is aimed at preserving the renowned statesman’s diplomatic and leadership legacy.
During the ceremony in Dar es Salaam, President Hassan urged Tanzanians and Africans in general to access the archive to learn from Dr Salim’s “hard work and discipline”.
"We have to access his digital archive and emulate his legacy," said President Hassan.
Dr Salim, 81, was his country’s permanent representative to the UN (1970-1980); Foreign Minister (1981-1984); 4th Prime Minister of Tanzania (1984-1985); Minister of Defence (1985-1989); and 7th Secretary General of the Organisation of African Unity (1989-2001).
The archive “seeks to educate, inform and provide a glimpse into the life of one of Tanzania's most distinguished diplomats – a pan-Africanist, a patriot and a son of Africa”.
Its website said that Dr Salim spent 60 years as a diplomat, government minister and elder statesman at the highest possible levels.
“His public life afforded him the privilege of bearing witness at pivotal moments in Tanzanian, African and world history,” the website added.
The archive aims for the first time to “provide a window into history through the eyes of Dr Salim”.
The content on the platform “provides insight into and perspective of the moments that shaped Dr Salim’s life and, more importantly, captures those moments in his own words”.
These records are in various forms: photos, videos, speeches, written notes, typed notes and academic papers.
The speeches and statements “capture various themes that shaped both Africa and the international community”, according to the website, which adds: “Each speech tells you about the challenges of the past and the promise of the future.”
Many in the academic world have welcomed the Salim Archive because they say it will throw a better light on Africa’s post-independence history.
For now, according to the website, the archive is only “a snapshot of Dr Salim's journey and experiences and, for that reason, will change and evolve over time, with the aim of filling any gaps and adding new information on and perspectives from Dr Salim”.
The Tanzanian statesman is well known for his unmatched attention to detail as well as his meticulous record-keeping.
Through his personal notes those accessing the archive are promised that they will be able to relive his working life, historical monuments and the highs and lows of Dr Salim’s career through his unique perspective.
The photo library consists of over 20,000 images, some with specific captions and details of the moment, others with no details at all – but those using the archive will be “left with lasting moments to observe [and] each photo tells its own specific story”.