chomba chishala's Diary

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STATE OF THE MAP AFRICA CONFERENCE 2019 IVORY COAST MY EXPERIENCE The revolution of open data in Africa has come at the right time when most of the counties are at the pick of development and data is one of the tools that is helping in decision making and influencing the government and other organizations that use data in their activities. Data is been used in many ways in Africa some of the most prominent areas were data is been is in the area of health environment such as climate change, urban planning, etc.

If Africa has to develop there is a need to make sure that the ordinary people take a keen interest in Making extraordinary things. One of the extraordinary communities of people that are making a change in Africa is the OSM community. The data science in Africa has come at the right time because Africa is rapidly growing which means there must be people to understand what is happing and plan for the future and try by all means to overcome the challenges that are coming with the rapid growth of the African content.

The second ideation conference on the State of Map of Africa was held in Ivory Coast from 22 – 24 November in Grand Bassam. The theme of the conference was “Transforming lives through mapping “. It was good to see a lot of people from different countries and outside Africa sharing what they have been doing as OSM community. One of the outstanding things that I noticed was that African countries are highly contributing to the creation of data in OSM. From fighting FGM in Tanzania to how OSM community in Uganda is helping in refuges, to how the OSM community is growing in Malawi, how the OSM in Ivory Coast is helping people who are affected with flooding as well as they are using OSM to deal with the issue of HIV. It was nice to see the representation from the YouthMappers in Africa, from the meeting that we had I noticed that there is a lot of energy from the young mapper in Africa who are willing to contribute to the country. It was a nice moment for me to see my fellow YouthMappers physical those who we just we talk online using social media. The YouthMapper were able to share their experiences with each other, how they are overcoming challenges in their respective chapters and help YouthMappers can improve on its work.

The conference for me was the time to see what others have done and what we can learn from each other. Most of the problems that the OSM communities are facing are similar and it was a great platform to hear from different people from different countries on how they have been overcoming the challenges. The conference was also an opportunity to get a connection to different mappers both from Africa and outside Africa.

Chomba Chishala is a former President for YouthMappers University of Zambia Chapter (YMUNZA), former chairperson for an Environmental Network called Umodzi at the University of Zambia. He is a YouthMapper Research fellow 2018. Chomba Chishala is a purposeful and goal-driven, empathetic, creative, hardworking and honest person with great social skills and communication skills. His dream is to lead people; more especially the Youths who have power and energy to change the world. At the moment he is a YouthMappers Regional Ambassador. Chomba Chishala is a member of OSM Zambia and a very active contributor to the OSM community in Zambia. He desires to see more youths to take a keen interest in what is happening in their community and voice out their opinions through mapping.

Hello, my name is Chomba Chishala, I am a student doing Environmental Education at the University of Zambia. At the same time the president of the YouthMappers at the University of Zambia Chapter (YMUNZA) I came to know YouthMappers through Open Street Map Zambia (OSMZAMBIA) in February this year 2017 when OSMZAMBIA had a meeting in Lusaka’s Bongo Hive training center. From that meeting, I learnt how to use different tools when mapping including the importance of the maps and how maps can be used for humanitarian help.

As YouthMappers UNZA, we have been involved in different tasks or activities and some of the prominent tasks that we have been doing include the malaria elimination where we have been mapping buildings / houses to help people who are into spraying for malaria as well as distribution of mosquito net as well as mapping for urban and rural areas in Zambia.

Many communities especially in African countries remain underdeveloped due to geographical impediments such as Hills, Mountains and lack of information with regard to how they are distributed especially their location that act as a hindrance to people willing to help in case of an outbreak of a disease.
Thus mapping buildings, roads, and streams as well as showing their actual location and potentials has derived me to engage myself in mapping as many communities as possible for the betterment of most of the communities. ‘’I am a proud YouthMapper who is willing to make a change, just urging everyone out there to join us and make a difference.’’

“As YouthMappers UNZA, our vision is to cultivate a generation of young people to become leaders in creating resilient communities and empowering them to define their world by mapping it.”