Liberia: Archives Launches Digital Scanning Center

The Center for National Documents and Records Agency (CNDRA) on Monday launched its digital scanning and customer service center in Monrovia at its headquarters in Sinkor. Speaking at the dedicatory ceremony, CNDRA Director General, Madam P. Bloh Sayeh said the modern documents keeping system will be processed through a digitalize data base system that will provide easy access to existing land records and national documents.

She also assured customers that this digital system which has several departments within the Archives will cater to many customers on a day-to-day basis through the modern system which include processing the customer's information at the modern digital scanning center within CNDRA.

"The Center for National Documents and Records Agency (CNDRA) has been mandated to preserve land records and make them publicly accessible," Madam Sayeh said.

The Director General said CNDRA was created as an autonomous bureau in 1977 as the repository for archived government documents and the registries for land deeds and marriage licenses.

"Prior to 1977, a private company managed the marriage licenses and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was the repository of Deed Registers. Today, CNDRA receives GOL funding and funding from the World Bank and Millennium Challenge Corporation to continue staff capacity-building efforts for sustainability," she stated further.

She said another data base system on the documentation and system of records has been set up at the Indiana State University as a back up for future.

The guest of honor at the occasion, Foreign Minister Augustine Kpehe Nagfuan said this modern digitally tailored Customer Service Center which will cater on current land deeds and national documents including deeds and ledger books which are composed of chronologically entered hand-written copies of the original probated deeds.

"The National Archives of Liberia is experiencing the advent of a technological revolution which will become a location for the storage of historical documents," he said. He noted that court cases involving land are becoming increasingly difficult to adjudicate because documents are unreliable and lack integrity.

Minister Ngafuan said the establishment of this digital scanning and customer service center serves as a conflict resolution initiative because it will discourage multiple sales of a single plot of land and point out that land issues are some of the most controversial issues in many communities in Liberia.

Minister Ngafuan has therefore urged employees to be sincere on their duty in maintaining the integrity of documents.

He further commended the CNDRA and its donor partners for their tireless efforts for making the issues of 'records keeping' initiative come to fruition.

However, he noted that the beauty and elegance of this customer service center must move in tandem with the beauty and elegance of the character and politeness, discipline of the customer service agents who will operate in this center.

Meanwhile, Director Sayeh has congratulated President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and Vice President Joseph N. Boakai, all partners including MCC and World Bank, and her staff for transforming this dream into reality.