Afaf Al-Muntaser, 43 years old, holds a university degree in software engineering. After a short experience in the field of Military Industrialization, she began her career in 2014 with the municipalities as a collaborator until she became director of the Planning Office in Souk Jomaa Municipality in Libya.
Since I started working at the municipality, my foremost concern has been developing the geographic information system in the region. I started receiving training by Libyan experts. Then, the International Center for Innovative Local Governance CILG VNG International gave me the opportunity to be trained by very qualified experts who guided us in mastering this system. This training allowed me to identify the fundamental elements in the implementation of a Geographical Information System, namely fieldwork. After this first training, I returned to Libya and worked on developing planning in my municipality. Meanwhile, I was hoping that I would have a second training opportunity with CILG-VNG to answer the remaining outstanding questions regarding my work.
I was fortunate at the end of last year to participate in another training with the center in Tunis. Indeed, the training experts answered my questions regarding road network analysis and field surveys. The experts also continued to coach us and provide us with useful information for several months. Today, our municipality is one of the best in the field of Geographic Information Systems.
However, the success of the municipality of Souk Al Jomaa is heavil dependent on the progress of its neighbouring municipalities. Within this scope, I was delighted that under its program Libya Local Pilots Project, CILG VNG International proposed that I train myself and my colleagues, from the municipality of Misrata. Undoubtedly, the idea of training ten men, in a conservative society, was startling in the beginning and although they had varying levels of knowledge of the GIS, I managed to fulfil the mission successfully and fortunately the training was beneficial for everyone.
Moreover, I am still in touch with many of them to answer their questions and provide them with technical support. Indeed, accurate municipal decisions derive from actual geographical and demographic information, and this is what the geographic information system provides.