The Department of Geography Education, University of Education, Winneba (UEW), has organised a weeklong activity to commemorate its 10-year anniversary celebration.
The activities included the unveiling of the anniversary logo, a float, a tree planting exercise, awareness creation on radio, a Geographic Information System (GIS) workshop for the youth mappers, a career guidance workshop, inter-graduate and inter-senior high school quizzes, a seminar, and fun games. All the activities took place from Friday, 21st to Friday, 28th July, 2023, in Winneba.
Delivering the keynote address on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor of UEW, Prof. Mawutor Avoke, at a seminar on Thursday, 27th July, 2023, under the theme “Sustainable Development of Ghana: The Role of the Geographer”, former Ag. Pro-Vice-Chancellor of UEW, Prof. Ruby Hanson, affirmed sustainable development as a central concept for humanity.
Prof. Ruby Hanson
She stated that sustainable development is a pattern for appreciating the world as well as a method for solving global problems. She indicated that sustainability seeks to improve the living conditions of all by promoting economic prosperity, social inclusion, environmental conservation, and good governance. She also underscored the significant role of Geography and Geographers in Ghana’s sustainable development.
“I see the potential to making Geography more relevant. I have learned that even our national budget, which is financial and sectorial, can be made spatial (spatial budgeting). The same goes for our policies, political appointments, and many others. This means that we need to double our effort in training and supporting the teaching and learning of Geography right from our primary schools to the tertiary levels,” she asserted.
The keynote speaker highlighted areas of research and innovations that experts in geography could undertake to help solve the numerous challenges Ghana faces. According to her, environmental issues, notably natural disasters, climate change, devastating floods in Accra and other parts of the country, persistent bushfires, biodiversity depletion, deforestation, and desertification, are among the challenges that geographers could play a tremendous role in solving.
An aerial view of participants who graced the seminar at the Jophus Anamuah-Mensah Conference Centre
“In our country today, agriculture, marine, and coastal management, forestry management, land conservation, water resources management, as well as mineral and petroleum exploration require knowledge of Geography to unravel and tackle so that we get the results we desire,” she professed.
The Vice-Chancellor’s representative enumerated the processes, mechanisms, and capabilities of GIS and remote sensing in defence, security, and intelligence, including defence mapping operations, force protection and security, military engineering, mission planning, peacekeeping operations, terrain analysis, and visualisation.
Prof. Ishmael Yaw Dadson
The Head, Department of Geography Education, Prof. Ishmael Yaw Dadson, disclosed the Department's continuous efforts to produce graduates equipped with relevant knowledge, professional skills, and positive attitudes to enable them to become effective Geography teachers, researchers, and practitioners to contribute meaningfully to the development of the country and beyond.
He revealed his outfit’s determination to develop into the Faculty of Geography and Environmental Sciences Education to elevate its leading role in the training of geography and environmental science teachers, researchers, and practitioners whose expertise would eventually be needed in all sectors of Ghana’s economy.
Prof. Anselm Abotsi
The Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences Education, and Chairman of the Seminar, Prof. Anselm Abotsi, charged geographers to continue to divulge the mechanisms of human-environmental system dynamics for sustainability.
The seminar also witnessed the launch of a book titled "Winneba: The Geography, Peoples, and Systems," written and edited by Prof. (Mrs.) Esther Yeboah Danso-Wiredu and Prof. Jim Weiler. There were also presentations on the topics "Combating Deforestation and Forest Crime in Cape Three Points and Subri River Forest Reserves" and "The Power of Geography: An Analysis of the Socio-Economic Development of Ghana through the Lens of the Geographer" by Mr. Justice Camillus Mensah and Prof. Simon Mariwah, PhD, respectively.
Prof. Simon Mariwah, PhD (left) and Mr. Justice Camillus Mensah
A cultural display by students at the Department of Theatre Arts