As a young researcher and recent graduate (2020) at Sokoine university of agriculture, it was an honor to present and showcase our field project program for Solomon Mahlangu College of Science an Education (SMCoSE) YouthMappers during state of the map Africa 2021(19th -21st November 2021). It was a great experience considering it was my first time on such huge platform with a lot of experienced organizations in OpenStreetMap (OSM) community. Nevertheless we should always take advantage of such opportunities to hear and learn from others, it is from such courage youth especially at universities can develop skills which will help them shape their career goals.
(Before the event)
From the call for participation, I was able to submit our work which was accepted by the state of the map team, it was a great feeling to know that as YouthMappers we could also contribute to ideas which speaks for the challenges and solutions in our communities. Preparations towards the conference was another experience which introduced me on how to prepare online presentations and also interact virtually with organizers. It taught me how to be punctual in responding to emails and properly plan on how to prepare pitches and presentations from various sources and mentors.
During the event.
Lesson learnt 1
https://twitter.com/Crowd2Map/status/1463873169618522123?t=OfpGgqBXHmfbSxEHFtrHJg&s=19 Local communities especially in rural areas including marginalized groups need also to understand these open source tools which have proved to be cost effective and reliable in addressing challenges in several sectors. From the presentation from Janet chapman, these groups are called digital champions. As organizations and groups in OSM, we should cultivate many digital champions, and from this we invest our efforts to the right people.
Lesson learnt 2 https://twitter.com/Erick_tambah/status/1461751809912242176?t=IYNXi3C9EqmyAIJwy5QxAg&s=19 While we are trying to focus on a certain challenge facing our communities, we should also see the link that it has to small challenges. SMCoSE YouthMappers tried to show this by linking floods to spread of diseases as a secondary impact to floods. It’s from these integrated ideas our community can become resilient from the solutions we are trying to offer from the data we collect.
Lesson learnt 3
https://twitter.com/Erick_tambah/status/1462379691243884550?t=fSBlGVo26tc1jmbTHvORIQ&s=19 I also twitted this great enlightening talk, we should always involve women, and this can be by educating them, providing them with tools and listening to their voices when making decisions. This was another amazing during state of the map Africa 202.
Lesson learnt 4
Thank you YouthMappers for this keynote speech, sure! I think it makes a lot of sense investing in each other as we create a better world through mapping. Also I remember welly’s presentation where he also insisted there is no room for greed, the data we create is a ticket to solving challenges in our local communities.
One more thing……….
Networking was not left behind, this was also my favorite spot during break time. Honestly it was easy to meet and talk to someone new and surely I made a lot of friends. Thank you#stateofthemapafrica2021, my hope is that next conference we will be able to interact physically.
After part session was also amazing, Learned new dance moves from friends on the stage and just have the same wish next time we should have this after party and hopefully I will apply to be the DJ.
GENERAL TAKE AWAY “To enhance data based decisions in Africa, OSM community groups and organizations should see the need to involve decision makers by presenting their findings so that our local communities can thrive in challenges such as floods”