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  • Maurine Oyugi | Regional Ambassador

YouthMappers Kenya Summit 2024: Fostering Collaboration and Career Growth in Kenya

The year 2024 yielded the very first YouthMappers Summit in Kenya. Getting in touch with organizations is a crucial part of students’ career growth. It was, therefore, a golden opportunity for both the YouthMappers and representatives from various organizations to interact, fostering meaningful networks and encouraging future collaborations with various organizations. As I am writing this blog, an organization has reached out for collaboration with YouthMappers in their ongoing project.


YouthMappers from various chapters

The inaugural YouthMappers Summit 2024, held at the University of Nairobi on March 2nd, drew attendees from various universities, geospatial professionals, academics, and organizations across the country. Under the theme "Open Data for Advancing Sustainable Development Goals," the summit aimed to cultivate collaboration, idea exchange, and motivation among youth in leveraging geospatial technologies for sustainable development and societal progress. Through a series of presentations and interactive sessions, participants explored the potential of open mapping, its varied applications, and its significance in addressing local challenges. The event garnered the participation of 130 individuals onsite, fostering a dynamic platform for learning and engagement.


YouthMappers and the speakers at the 2024 Summit

The event's keynote address was delivered by Marcela Zeballos, the managing director of YouthMappers, who graciously acknowledged all speakers and warmly welcomed the audience. Among our esteemed presenters was Dr. Kenneth Mubea from Digital Earth Africa, who demonstrated the efficacy of utilizing processed open data in projects aimed at advancing the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Nancy Kinyua from the Clinton Health Access Initiative Inc. shared illuminating insights into the application of open data within the health sector, while Laura Mugeha from Code for Africa highlighted several successful projects where open data played a pivotal role in achieving sustainable development objectives. Mary Muthee's presentation underscored the transformative potential of the OpenStreetMap (OSM) platform as a global geodatabase, showcasing how its data has positively impacted lives worldwide.



Later in the afternoon, David Marshall, a student from the University of Nairobi, shared his innovative utilization of open data in Kisumu. He detailed how he assisted his community in locating optimal fishing spots in Lake Victoria, thereby enhancing the fishing practices of local fish farmers in the region. Maurine Oyugi, a YouthMappers Regional Ambassador, followed with an insightful presentation on her experience leveraging open data to analyze the repercussions of earthquakes in Oklahoma during her internship at the EarthScope Consortium. Lastly, Boneya Hassan exemplified the critical role of open data in disaster management through his showcase of its application at the Kenya Red Cross Societies. Summit material can be accessed here



Other activities encompassed a networking session, facilitating interactions among participants from different universities, thereby nurturing potential collaborations for the future. Additionally, engaging and interactive activities like Kahoot quizzes and award ceremonies for winners further heightened participant involvement and enjoyment throughout the event. These moments not only strengthened connections but also added a sense of camaraderie and excitement to the summit experience.



The summit concluded with a heartfelt acknowledgment of the speakers and event planners, followed by the presentation of awards by the Regional Ambassador, who also served as the event organizer. Event planners are as below. Special shoutout to them.

Event planner

Institution – Chapter

Role

Kereen Wanjiku Njiiru

University of Nairobi 

Venue Securing and preparation

Sylvester Onyango 

University of Nairobi

Venue Securing and preparation

Clarice Ileko Okongo

University of Nairobi

Welfare, venue preparation and participant registration

Mary Muthee

The Technical University of Kenya

Master of ceremony

Alex Mwangi

The Technical University of Kenya

Master of ceremony

Roy Munga 

The Technical University of Kenya

Technical Consulting 

Brenda Kajuju

Kenyatta University 

Welfare, branding and participant registration

Tonny Mwendwa Kioko

Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology 

Welfare and participant registration

Valentine Irungu

Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology

Program development and participant registration 

Julius Mwenya Nabera

Laikipia University

Program development

Levis Pkimoi Ruto

Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology 

Branding designs   

Joseph Munyenze

Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology

Awards ceremony facilitation 




A moment of prayer was shared, setting a reflective tone, after which students had the opportunity to share their event experiences and insights gained. The compiled video encapsulates some of the thoughtful responses provided by students: https://drive.google.com/file/d/16u8nCen5302FQ8kd8LCmS8FHWtXiUzZW/view?usp=sharing


About the Author:


Maurine Oyugi, based in Kenya, serves as a YouthMappers Regional Ambassador. Holding a BSc in Geomatic Engineering and Geospatial Information Systems, she is also a GIS consultant at Planate Management Group.


"I firmly believe that establishing connections with organizations is crucial for fostering career advancement. Such connections enable individuals to develop a deeper understanding of why YouthMappers should actively contribute to and utilize open data platforms like OpenStreetMap."


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