The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has donated several essential electronic materials to the Institute of Population Studies (IPS), a unit within the Department of Demography at the University of Liberia (UL) aimed at helping the department with the training of its students in data science for Demography.
On behalf of UNFPA, Dr. Bannet Ndyanabangi, Resident Representative of the UN agency turned over the items to the President of the University of Liberia Rev. Dr. Julius Julukon Sarwolo Nelson, Jr on Wednesday, June 16, 2021 on the Capitol Hill Campus.
The items donated by the UNFPA include two Air Conditioners, one generator, 10 desktop computers, one photocopier, 10 Galaxy Tablets and one projector.
“On behalf of UNFPA, I hand over these to you for the training of your students [in] data, Demography and everything else,” Dr. Ndyanabangi said in a very brief statement during the turning over ceremony.
Taking delivery of the donation for onward presentation to the Institute of Population Studies, UL President, Dr. Nelson, said he received the items joyfully on behalf of the Demography unit, assuring the UN agency that they will be used for the intended purpose for the continuation of “our partnership.”
Madam Benetta Joko Tarr, Vice President for Administration, who made an onward presentation of the items to the Department of Demography, expressed gratitude to UNFPA, and further assured Dr. Ndyanabangi that all of the donated items will be used for the purpose they are intended.
“Being the Vice President for Administration, you can rest assured that we are going to do all we can to make sure that they are properly maintained,” Madam Tarr said.
Prof. Dr. Geetor S. Saydee, Director, Institute of Population Studies (IPS), Department of Demography at the University of Liberia expressed appreciation for the turning over of valuable equipment donated by UNFPA and assured that they will be used for the intended purpose.
Prof. Saydee recalled that since 1973, UNFPA has been in Liberia, noting that as a student, he also benefited from the agency. He said over the years the Institute of Population Studies has been able to train Liberians and other nationals in the field of Demography and Statistics.
According to Dr. Saydee, if you check in the various sectoral ministries and agencies like the Liberia Institute for Geo Information Services (LISGIS), Ministries of Education, Health and Agriculture, about 90 percent of those working there with Statistics and Demography backgrounds are trained by the Demography Department at the University of Liberia.
Further, Dr. Saydee informed Dr. Ndyanabangi that, in addition to Demography, the department currently runs a one – year program in Statistics, adding that students are drawn from various sectoral ministries after which they return to their various ministries with certificates in Statistics.
With the help of UNFPA, Dr. Saydee said the department has been able to develop the program from the minor level and since 2010, it has been awarding a Bachelor’s Degree in the program and providing research for sectoral ministries and agencies including Health, Finance and LISGIS, among others.