Putting Development on the Map
IAYG Geographic & Global Education Liberia organizes country’s first GIS Day at the University of Liberia
18 NOVEMBER 2019
On Wednesday, IAYG Geographic & Global Education Liberia and the Liberian Geographical Society, a subsidiary organization of IAYG Liberia, launched Liberia’s first-ever GIS day at the Fendell Campus of the University of Liberia, joined by representatives of Liberian government and international organizations to celebrate the role of GIS technology in national development and the future of Liberian geographic education.
In Liberia’s first GIS Day, participants from across Liberia discussed the essential role of GIS and geographic skills in shaping Liberia’s development, as well as the need for expanded geographic and global education to meet the country’s global future. The event was organized by IAYG Geographic & Global Education Liberia and the Liberian Geographical Society, a subsidiary organization of IAYG Liberia that IAYG launched in 2018.
The event was held at the Fendell Campus of the University of Liberia, which provided its generous support. Professor Jethro Tamba, Chair of the Geography Department, and Professor William Ezra Allen, Vice President for Academic Affairs, welcomed participants to Liberia’s national university, before IAYG National Director for Liberia Torwon Tony Yantay formally opened the event. Mr. Yantay specifically focused the discussion not only the role of GIS technology in development, but on how societal actors can support students in developing needed skills. The event reflects IAYG Liberia’s mission to strengthen geography and global studies infrastructure in the country, as well as its role driving support for students and educators.
IAYG invited stakeholders from across society to participate in Liberia GIS Day, and participants included representatives and participants from government agencies (including the National Disaster Management Agency and Forestry Development Agency), international organizations (including UNDP-National Action Programme and Conservation International – Liberia), and universities (including Stella Maris, United Methodist University, and the University of Liberia itself). These representatives, united by their understanding of how geographic skills are essential to national development, presented programs and discussed the role of geography in combating global issues like climate change.
The event was the culmination of months of hard work for the IAYG Geographic & Global Education team in Liberia, which has been working to accelerate programs for students and educators in the country. Mr. Yantay stated that he looks forward to building partnerships from the event to support young people and advance understanding of geographic technology in the country. Isaac Appiah, the Regional Director of IAYG Geographic & Global Education in West Africa, and Phillip Meng, President of the IAYG Family, congratulated the local team on the successful execution of the program. As Mr. Meng stated, he was “proud to have worked with Torwon and the Liberia team to make this unlikely event an enormously successful reality, and [looks] forward to building on this success with the planned inaugural conference for geography teachers in the country next year.”