Success Story

Students of UCC Chapter of YouthMappers Win Prestigious Award

Three students of the Department of Geography and Regional Planning have been selected from over 80 qualified applicants from 27 countries for the 2017 YouthMappers Leadership Initiative Scholarship Award for a week long workshop on Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Open Street mapping to be held in Kathmandu, Nepal from May 21-29, 2017.

The three (3) students are Benedict Nartey (graduate student), Ebenezer Boateng and Bert Manieson (both undergraduate students)

YouthMappers is an International University Consortium of globally connected student chapters across the world that creates maps to solve real world challenges. It is a voluntary network programme organized and supported by the United States Agency for International Development’s GeoCenter and initiated by Founding University Members of ‘MappersU’, (Texas Tech University, The George Washington University and West Virginia University). Currently 44 Universities from 27 countries are partners of this network.

The Department of Geography and Regional Planning of the University of Cape Coast was the first inaugural chapter of this network. As part of the consortium’s mission, UCC YouthMappers chapter contributes to a movement that links students all over the world through digital maps that are available to anyone with access to the internet. Hence, members of the YouthMappers network directly support real world development projects by helping to map parts of the world that have never been mapped before. The data created is used for humanitarian assistance to help combat malaria, respond to disasters, increase food security and improve geographic decision-making by agencies like USAID, Doctors Across Borders, International Red Cross, among others.

Students from the Department of Geography and Regional Planning of the University of Cape Coast were specially invited to participate in this global network of mapping using GIS as a result of their outstanding performance in 2011-2013 project on My Community, Our Earth ( Mycoe) where students of the Department submitted youth-led sustainable project which was showcased at the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). The UCC projects won 5 awards out of 15 awards worldwide organised by Association of American Geographers, ESRI, United States Department of Agriculture, National Geographic Society, United Nation Environment Programme, International Geographic Union and United States Department of State.

Since joining the network and having our first training in September 2016, the UCC Chapter of YouthMappers has, on voluntary basis, mapped the following communities in Ghana: Tolon, Gushiegu, Zabzugu and Tatale and currently mapping Nalerigu and Sang all in the Northern Region of Ghana.

In addition, students have contributed to YouthMappers blog sites by sending in articles of their experiences in mapping. From their annual report and activities on UCC campus the Geographical Society of the Department of Geography and Regional Planning has been selected as one of the three Universities from participating Universities for Special Recognition for their inspiring accomplishment for the past year on Campus Outreach Award.
All these achievements were made under the able mentorship of Mr. James Kweku Eshun, a lecturer at the Department of Geography and Regional Planning who serves as the patron of the Geographical Society, the Coordinator of MyCoe project and advisor and mentor for the YouthMappers project.

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