Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Date of this Version

Winter 1-4-2023


Please find attached our manuscript on e-skills scarcity within the digital records management landscape in Zimbabwe. The article seeks to raise the call for skills impartation and upgrading in order to make sure the digital records management programme is a success.


With the adoption of electronic government in Zimbabwe in 2011, more and more government records are now generated, received, used, maintained, preserved and disposed in electronic form. Use of electronic mail records, word-processed documents, audio-visual records and social media records as official government records is now commonplace. This calls for the mobilisation and hiring of records and information managers with requisite electronic skills to manage such records. This article used the theoretical frameworks of the innovation diffusion theory and the skills theory to show the unprecedent rise in use of digital records as well as the importance in acquisition of electronic skills respectively. The article reveals that there is worrisome scarcity of electronic skills among records and information personnel managing digital records in Zimbabwe’s public sector. Focusing on government ministries in Zimbabwe, the article interrogated the causes and consequences of electronic skills scarcity, anomalies that directly and indirectly impact negatively on the full implementation of a digital records management programme in the country. This mixed methods research used the exploratory sequential research design where qualitative responses by government ministries’ records and information supervisors were confirmed and disconfirmed by quantitative responses from archivists of the National Archives of Zimbabwe. The paper helps to raise the call for higher education institutions to align their curricular with the demands of industry and the job market as well as for government to motivate skilled personnel to foster retention, commitment and excellent service delivery.

Key words: digital records management; e-skills; e-skills scarcity; skills assessment; training needs assessment