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  • Raya Idrissa Ahmada, State University of Zanzibar

State University of Zanzibar inaugural YouthMappers training

Updated: Jan 3, 2021

On the 8th and 9th of November, 2019, a team of YouthMappers at the State University of Zanzibar, SUZA YouthMappers, took part in a two days training offered by Ingrid Martha Kintu, a Regional Ambassador from Makerere University in Uganda. The training took place in the computer laboratory, CCL1 Computing Building, Tunguu Campus at SUZA. The computers in the lab were used, and some of the students came with their own laptops.

Thirty (30) students were invited to attend the training and were selected based on a first-come-first-served basis. The students were coming from various programs including Bachelor of Computer Science (BCS), Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Environmental Studies (BAGES), Bachelor of Information Technology and Application Management (BITAM) and Masters in Geography.

Primarily, the training aimed at equipping students with tools and knowledge that would help them to create, edit and visualize open data as well as provide an insight into the available opportunities. This training covered an introduction to the following:

• YouthMappers • OpenStreetMap • iD Editor • JOSM • TeachOSM/HOT Tasking Manager • Spatial Data Collection Using Kobo Collect and OSM Tracker • Data Visualization

Students were required to fully participate in all the activities conducted in the industrial training. The mentors were responsible for recording the participants’ attendance on a daily basis, and the TTT (Training The Trainers) model was proposed for this training. The trained students were prepared to help in training other YouthMappers members who missed the training.

Luckily, some of the students previously participated in a two months Resilience Academy internship program at SUZA where they were equipped with industrial geospatial skills and knowledge necessary for tackling urban related challenges through the utilization of drone imagery and other geospatial techniques for community mapping in Zanzibar City. This industrial training was coordinated by SUZA academic members from the Department of Social Science (Geography unit) and the Department of Computer Science and offered conjointly by the Spatial Collective Company, based in Nairobi, Kenya and SUZA training coordinators. These same students were interested in becoming the executive members for their YouthMappers chapter and in help their colleagues to making the chapter active and vibrant. This training helped them master what they practiced during the Academy’s data collection activities and new tools for creating open data.

As a follow up, the students organized a one day training on the 16th of November, 2019 to introduce other students in the SUZA community to YouthMappers. The challenge faced though was the lack of access to the computer lab. The students however decided to use their own laptops. This drove me to request a meeting with the executive members of the SUZA YouthMappers to charter a way forward. An Instagram account, Twitter and chapter email address have been created. Follow us!

Raya Idrissa Ahmada Is a graduate of Msc. In Telecommunication at the Technical University of Denmark. She is an Assistant Lecturer at the State University of Zanzibar and the Resilience Academy Industrial Training Coordinator at SUZA, under the Tanzania Urban Resilience Program. She is very passionate about data science and she is researching in the areas of open source GIS tools and data analysis. She is also keen in mentoring the students to come up with innovative ideas to solve existing problems in the community. She is one of the faculty mentors of the SUZA YouthMappers chapter and she is working hard to make the chapter active and useful.

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