Experience with the first SOTM Africa

I had always wanted an African State of the Map conference and on the 8th to 10th July this dream became a reality with the support from Mapbox, Youth mappers, HOT, GFDRR, HDX, European Commission, Michelin and Mapillary. The conference had a great pull of people from Africa and allover the world who were all excited to be at the first State of Map of Africa.

Myself and a colleague from Kenya Joshua were sponsored by Mapbox. I learnt a lot from Joshua, and I would like to initiate a “Map Kibera” project in Zambia. I liked their approach of printing the map for Kibera on a wall and their work with the community and government.

Joshua and I at the conference

I had been talking and working with half of the folks from the different African countries and I was really happy to finally meet them in person and this was really a great thing for me. Janet, Bernard, Janat, Amadou, Fatima, Natalie, Deogratius and the rest. My greatest sense of belonging was when i met people developing great IT products like Sajjad from Mapbox, Tim from Kartoza, Ahmadou and Amadou from HDX, Apple team, Stephen from OpenDroneMap and others. I am always excited when I meet people from the Tech world since I learn a lot from them.

I was privileged to be among the presenters where I presented about “Why Africa should embrace OSM?” and I was participated in two panels one for “Women in technology and Mapping” with great ladies like Janet, Christine, Fatima, Nathalie and the other was for the OSM Africa communities.
Women in Technology and mapping panelists.

My other highlight was flying the drone.

In conclusion the conference was a great experience for where I learnt ways we can use in Zambia to grow our community from presentations, IT and GIS tools, met new people and made contacts that I will use to grow OSM in Zambia and Africa. The football match was amazing I was neutral since I happen to come from both, nevertheless the Ugandan was so kind to the rest of the world win.

I am grateful to Mapbox and Mikel for supporting at the SOTM Africa and the Map Uganda for being great hosts. LET’S DO IT AGAIN NEXT YEAR


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