[Board] Re: Request for formal incorporation of OSGeo-Africa

Tim Sutton tim at linfiniti.com
Wed Mar 17 13:06:42 PDT 2010

Hi Folks

I'm afraid we may go down a rabbit hole here that we can't easily get 
out of (i.e. a debate of continent level chapter versus country 
chapter). I think the paucity of activity and skills in the OSGEO arena 
provide a good reason for us to consider a continent wide chapter, but I 
do appreciate that some may consider it to broad in scope and incapable 
of representing all country's interested linquistically and otherwise.

Perhaps this is something we can debate at the conference? For now I 
feel we should reformulate our request towards incorporating a South 
African or SADEC chapter so that we can get on with organising our 
conference. Gavin and others are you happy for us to do that? If so, I 
guess we can create SA level mailing lists, wiki page etc in order to 
bring about our incorporation as a local chapter. Does that fly with the 
board too?

It would be great to put out a call for papers within this week if 
possible and not let these considerations delay our activities too much.



On 15/03/2010 17:13, Tim Sutton wrote:
> On 08/03/2010 13:19, Gérald Fenoy wrote:
>> Hi everybody,
>> many thanks to Venka and Jeff to forward those mails.
>> Indeed we are on the way to create an OSGeo-SN (where SN stand for
>> Senegal) and we would like to become official during (or before maybe
>> ? can be great to be able to use the OSGeo name for naming the event
>> and promote OSGeo) the event which is planned to take place in Dakar
>> on april 6th and 7th. We would like to invite people from OSGeo from
>> different countries. We took contact with people we want to invite,
>> put the money on the table and now we are waiting for confirmation on
>> the other side, they have to put some money in also to be able to
>> fully fund the event.
>> I think that this specific local chapter is an interesting one in your
>> discussion cause as it was (unfortunately) a french colony before, and
>> not an english one like South Africa was, then everybody is speaking
>> french in there and it can be hard for them to speak only in english.
>> In fact, one of their first question, during the meeting when I
>> presented them the OSGeo concept which took place in Dakar, was that
>> "do we have to communicate in english to be able to create a local
>> Chapter". I told them that is one of the advantage to become a local
>> chapter is that you can exchange your ideas using your own languages
>> preference.
>> Moreover I think that Africa is a huge continent and multicultural.
>> How can anybody deal with the whole continent ? I'm not sure tht is
>> possible. Does south african will deal with all the countries on the
>> cnotinent ? I'm not sure that is doable and understandable for african
>> people. I also know that there are lot of interesting people in North
>> Africa, people which organize GeoTunis event for instance, how you can
>> deal with them ? Do you will include them in the same pot ? I wonder
>> if this will work.
>> For me, the African continent getting a global representation is a
>> good point, having local OSGeo representatives is also important but I
>> wonder how we can deal with so different countries, different
>> culture... It seems to be a hard task.
>> Nevertheless maybe OSGeo-Africa can became a superset of futur African
>> Local chapters ? Globaly representing every African Local Chapters,
>> like Senegalese one will became. But I wonder if that is not already
>> the role of OSGeo global ... Nevertheless it will look more "local".
>> Hope my thoughts wasn't too long and too complicated but was hard to
>> expose,
>> hope to hear from you soon,
>> best regards,
>> Le 6 mars 2010 à 02:24, Jeff McKenna a écrit :
>>> I am adding Gérald Fenoy to this discussion, as he is assisting the
>>> formation of a Senegal chapter. Gérald: please join this discussion.
>>> -jeff
>>> Tyler Mitchell (OSGeo) wrote:
>>>> Following on this thread, the other directors in a board meeting today
>>>> agreed with you and Frank that more clarification is needed. In
>>>> particular, having more than one country represented for a continental
>>>> chapter is important. Have you considered a South Africa chapter in the
>>>> meantime?
>>>> Tyler
>>>> Tim Sutton wrote:
>>>>> Hi
>>>>> On 03/03/2010 22:55, Frank Warmerdam wrote:
>>>>>> Tyler Mitchell (OSGeo) wrote:
>>>>>>> Dear board, Tim is making a request to become 'official' as a local
>>>>>>> Africa chapter. Their wiki page is:
>>>>>>> http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Africa
>>>>>>> And this will help them during their forming of a local chapter
>>>>>>> supported event. Can we vote on this at tomorrow's meeting?
>>>>>> Tim, Gavin and others,
>>>>>> My primary concern with the OSGeo Africa chapter is it's area
>>>>>> of responsibility. It seems to me that having it be a branch of
>>>>>> GISSA implies that it is really a South African OSGeo chapter.
>>>>> I need to discuss this with Gavin a little offline and then get
>>>>> back to
>>>>> you, but this is my concern too - I am after *African* representation
>>>>> rather than South African representation - until such time as
>>>>> subregions
>>>>> emerge more strongly it is important that we appear inclusive to the
>>>>> entire region. The AFOSSGIS annual events will provide a forum / AGM
>>>>> whereby a chair can be elected annually - I'm not after a president
>>>>> for
>>>>> life post here, just wanting to get some momentum going.
>>>>> It leaves the issue of NGO incorporation but I think it makes sense to
>>>>> first have charter as an official chapter and then start looking at
>>>>> that.
>>>>> That said, let me chat to Gav tomorrow (and others interested please
>>>>> chime in!) and see if there is a compelling case for us to remain
>>>>> under
>>>>> the GISSA wing. I will get back to you after that.
>>>>>> Can you update the chapter page to discuss the territorial ambit
>>>>>> of the chapter, and how you can ensure broad participation from
>>>>>> across the region?
>>>>> Yes will do. The osgeo-africa mailing list has already got a fairly
>>>>> broad subsriber base from across the continent.
>>>>>> Best regards,
>>>>> Regards
>>>>> Tim
>> Gérald Fenoy
>> gerald.fenoy at geolabs.fr
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