In Liberia, information is power; traditionally this power has been concentrated among a few. Increasingly, Liberian citizens and organizations are seeking access to information and to platforms that allow them to share their experiences within and beyond Liberia.
The founders of iLab Liberia recognized this growing interest and simultaneous lack of info-sharing resources available to Liberians; the natural first step seemed to be a central location with reliable Internet, electricity, and trained IT staff where collaboration and learning could take place. The iLab has two labs with 30 computer work stations, a dedicated ACE (African Coast to Europe) Fiber optic connection with a speed of 2mb; there is also a conference room available for trainings and meetings and a projector with speakers for live distance learning sessions.
The iLab’s mission is to assist IT professionals as well as organizations and institutions in their efforts to more readily share information using ICT. Specifically, our staff offers trainings in open source tools and systems because they promote interactive communities and shared ownership. Other iLab trainings range from how to start your own blog to managing inconsistent power supply. iLab is also a space for local meet-ups and for local and international organizations to host events that are in-line with iLab’s mission.
From the begining, iLab Liberia partnered with Ushahidi Liberia, with additional support from colleagues at iHub in Nairobi and the AfriLabs Assocation. iLab’s space was made possible by funding to Ushahidi Liberia by Humanity United. Ushahidi Liberia covered the lease, electricity and data connections. We are now funded by, and collaborating with these great organizations.