The Department of Geography and Resource Development recently celebrated its UG@75 Alumni Homecoming event , on the theme “UG@75: Advancing Geo-Technology for Sustainable Development.”
During the event, the department officially launched the Geography-GIS Alumni Association and revealed plans for an ultra-modern Geographic Information System (GIS) building.
In her welcome address, Prof. Charlotte Wrigley-Asante, the Head of the Department, emphasized that the theme aligns with the University of Ghana’s 75th Anniversary celebration theme, “Nurturing Resilience : Adopting Technology, Embracing Humanism.” She highlighted the department’s long-standing commitment to teaching, research, and the transfer of knowledge in the fields of Geography and Resource Development since its establishment in 1948.
Prof. Wrigley-Asante also mentioned the introduction of an MSc program in GeoInformation Science and its success in training geospatial professionals locally and internationally.
She further revealed that the department’s increasing student enrollment prompted the need for expanded laboratory facilities, a project she noted has received support from the Alumni Association, who have initiated a fundraising campaign to support the establishment of an ultra-modern Geo-Spatial Technology Centre.
According to Prof. Wrigley-Asante, the expansion of the laboratory project, when completed, will help accommodate the growing number of students and provide consultancy services in various areas.
Prof. Paul N. Buatsi, the Chairperson for the occasion and founder of Omega Strategic Resources Ltd., commended the department and its alumni for their commendable initiative. He stressed the importance of investing in technology to keep pace with the rapidly changing world and the need for digital infrastructure in all sectors of the economy. As an alumnus of the department, he pledged his support for the project.
He further commended the department for its initiative to expand the existing lab facilities and urged all present to support the project to its completion.
Speaking on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor, the Dean of the School of Social Sciences, Prof. George Owusu, lauded the department and its alumni for organizing the homecoming and establishing the Geo-Spatial Technology Centre.
He acknowledged the contributions of former and senior faculty members in making GIS an integral part of the discipline and emphasized the centre’s importance in understanding complex environmental, economic, and social issues of the modern world.
The Chief of Staff, Hon. Frema Opare, who was the Special Guest of Honour during the homecoming event, congratulated the university for its vision and investment in becoming a leading academic institution with a significant impact on Ghana’s socio-economic development over its 75-year history. She emphasized the government’s commitment to fostering a strong foundation in science and technology at the tertiary level.
Highlighting the progress made and the remaining challenges of the department, Prof. Alex Owusu-Barimah provided a historical perspective on the department’s journey in Geo-Technology. He shed light on the necessity of an ultra-modern Geo-Spatial Technology Centre to accommodate the growing number of students.
The plan for an ultra-modern Geo-Spatial Technology Centre was unveiled by Emerita Professor Elizabeth Ardayfio-Schandorf, Chair of the Alumni Homecoming Planning Committee, with the support of Hon. Frema Opare, Prof. Paul N. Buatsi, and Nana Opare Kwafo I
The event also included the inauguration of Interim Executives of the Alumni Association.
Other activities organized as part of the homecoming included a fundraising dinner dance, drink-ups, a football gala, and business networking events. The three-day program attracted a significant number of senior faculty members, alumni, students, and friends of the department. Nana Opare Kwafo I, served as the Co-chair and Mr. Kafui Dey, the MC and Fundraiser.