American professor Dr. Ismail Abdullahi visited Cameroon from May 23 through 26 under the U.S. Department of State’s Speaker Program. Dr. Abdullahi conducted a series of programs in Yaounde accompanied by U.S. Embassy officials on the importance of libraries in building open and prosperous societies and achieving Sustainable Development Goals. During the first part of his stay, Professor Abdullahi served as main facilitator for the Building Strong Library Associations Workshop organized by the Cameroon Association of Librarians (ABADCAM). The workshop brought together seventy librarians and library science experts from ten francophone African countries. See Facebook album of visit: https://www.facebook.com/yaounde.usembassy/photos/?tab=album&album_id=10156987800130716.
The second part of Dr. Abdullahi’s programs consisted of visits to key institutions active in the field of information and documentation in Cameroon. These included the Centre de Lecture et d’Animation Culturelle (CLAC), the University of Yaounde I main library, the Library of the National Assembly of Cameroon, and the Library Science department of the Protestant University of Central Africa. His presentations covered a variety of topics including the role of strong library associations, effective lobbying and marketing strategies for libraries, the library as a place for education, recreation and information in the community.
Dr. Abdullahi’s visit ended with a dinner hosted by the National Assembly of the Republic of Cameroon for all participants attended by Public Affairs Officer Roberto Quiroz II, who told guests: “Dr. Ismail Abdullahi’s story is the story of America. Born in Ethiopia, he found a home in the United States, persevered, and attained unparalleled success in his field through a quality education. What is most impressive is the fact that you, the librarians from West and Central Africa who participated in the programs this week, are his lifelong colleagues and friends. You have met before at conferences in the United States and Africa, know each other’s stories, and hold profound mutual respect for your chosen profession knowing that it is the key to educate a new generation of children and youth who will build the future of our nations. Ensuring that they develop a love for reading and learning at an early age is essential to promote global development. So this is not an overnight partnership and we look forward to supporting your goals to strengthening it even further. We congratulate the Government of the Republic of Cameroon, academics, and you for demonstrating a clear commitment towards enhancing education in words and deeds, as this week’s events demonstrated.”
Professor Ismail Abdullahi is a Professor of Global Library and Information Science in the School of Library and Information Science at North Carolina Central University. He is also an active member of the American Library Association (ALA) and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).
Cultural Affairs Officer Merlyn Schultz and U.S. Embassy Information Resource Center Director Mathias Tientcheu observed that: “Dr. Abdullahi’s visit has reinforced and strengthened the existing bonds of cooperation between these librarian professionals. We look forward to advancing further their goals in partnership with Cameroonian librarians and institutions.”