[OSGeoLive] Help needed for AgriGIS capacity development across Africa

Suchith Anand Suchith.Anand at nottingham.ac.uk
Wed Aug 21 04:30:23 PDT 2019

Dear colleagues,

The Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) supports the proactive sharing of open data to make information about agriculture and nutrition available, accessible and usable to deal with the urgent challenge of ensuring world food security. As part of GODAN’s Capacity Development Working Group[1], we ran AgriGIS ThinkTank in Nairobi (2016) and Washington (2017) to get inputs from the community. Details at https://www.godan.info/documents/summary-godan-think-tank-open-geo-data-and-open-tools-achieve-food-security-and-sustainable-agriculture

As requested by participants at the GODAN ThinkTanks , we have provided links and resources for free and open tools for AgriGIS at the GODAN website and started promoting OSGeo software to our community members. There is big demand from the GODAN capacity development community  for GeoForAll training resources [2] ,  OSGeoLive, open data tutorials etc. GODAN Capacity Development community consists of over 4000 members globally  from policy makers to students.

As majority of our members are from developing world and from economically poor communities , there is internet bandwidth issues esp. for downloading big files like OSGeo Live (4GB!), so we have decided to provide them through USBs to our partners (RCMRD, RUFORUM etc) for their AgriGIS training in Africa and I would like to request help from the OSGeo community for  this. We will also be helping the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) colleagues to establish GeoForAll labs in their universities. The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM), established by ten Vice Chancellors in 2004, is a consortium of 113 African universities operating within 38 countries spanning the African continent. RUFORUM is coordinated by a Secretariat hosted by Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. RUFORUM supports universities to address the important and largely unfulfilled role that universities play in contributing to the well‐being of small‐scale farmers and economic development of countries . Details at https://www.ruforum.org/about-us

In 2018, I was invited by RUFORUM to  address on the topic of  “Harnessing the digital potential to drive  higher education transformation in Africa” [3].  I shared GeoForAll principles to ensure geo digital economy opportunities are also available to economically poor countries and economically poor people worldwide.

I would like to introduce you to Kiringai Kamau ( GODAN Africa lead) and request you to help him and  all colleagues in Africa to build up capacity in AgriGIS. Kiringai is also Programme Lead for University of Nairobi’s Center for Agricultural Networking and Information Sharing (CANIS). He is the Executive Director for Programme for Capacity Development in Africa (P4CDA) where he is involved in a new thinking in African Agriculture - the Student Led Agricultural Extension (SLAE).

I had the opportunity to meet Kiringai at the GODAN AgriGIS ThinkTank In Nairobi in 2016 [4]. He went on to establish GeoforAll at University of Nairobi’s Center for Agricultural Networking and Information Sharing (CANIS) and shared GeoForAll ideas to wider colleagues in Africa. I am impressed by his work on Capacity Development at grassroots level esp. for students and small holder farmers.

Kiringai, You already know GeoForAll community. May I introduce you to OSGeo Live community. Please join the maillist at https://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/osgeolive and send any queries you have to help you in your training needs. Please also request relevant colleagues in RUFORUM, RCMRD and other universities in Africa to join the OSGeolive maillist , so they can get help for their AgriGIS capacity development and training needs. Thanks.

I also request the GeoForAll community to share ideas on developing  training materials in Capacity Development in Climate, Landuse, ecosystem services for Agriculture. Thanks.

Best wishes,


Dr. Suchith Anand

Chief Scientist

Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition


[1] https://www.godan.info/working-groups/capacity-development-working-group

[2] https://www.osgeo.org/foundation-news/please-share-geoforall-teaching-research-resources-colleagues-students/

[3]  https://www.osgeo.org/foundation-news/harnessing-the-digital-potential-to-drive-higher-education-transformation-in-africa/

[4] https://opensourcegeospatial.icaci.org/2016/11/summary-of-agrigis-thinktank-and-workshop-2016-nairobi-kenya/

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