AGDIC 2019: “Harnessing Emerging Technologies in Shaping Africa’s Future”

 

The Africa Geospatial Data and Internet Conference (AGDIC) 2019 was held at the Accra International Conference Center on October 24, 2019. Organized by the Africa Open Data & Internet Research Foundation together with SERVIR West Africa, the event was aimed at fostering diversity and providing a platform for young people to contribute to dialogues of national, regional and global interest. 

With focus on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, particularly 8,9 and 11 — centered on economic growth, innovation and sustainable digital communities, the conference set out to empower the youth. Thus, the theme “Harnessing Emerging Technologies in Shaping Africa’s Future” was derived.

Other targets of AGDIC 2019 were to discuss public policy issues related to key elements of geospatial technology, and Internet in Ghana & Africa. Discovering solutions to these issues and promoting international collaborations were also covered. All of the above, we must say, was accomplished.

The conference had a heavy attendance with audiences ranging from students to entrepreneurs, consultants, geologists, IT organizations, and major government stakeholders. Many of them came as speakers, with so much knowledge to impart.

AGDIC 2019

Panel of speakers at the just ended Africa Geospatial Data and Internet Conference (AGDIC)

One important speaker was our very own Chief Technology Officer, Kwame Osei-Tutu, who spoke on the topic “Youth and Career prospects in GIS”. Under this, here are a few things we learnt:

1. GIS on its own is sometimes not enough: The market for technology-related jobs is getting competitive by the day. Therefore, to become a viable candidate, you’d need to do more. It helps if you combine your knowledge in GIS with more practical skills like software programming and database management.

“To be truly competitive, you need to combine GIS with other specialties like Software Programming and Relational Databases”

 

2. Diversification has its perks: To buttress the previous point, diversifying your knowledge comes with more advantages than just being competitive. As a job seeker, it increases the number of organizations you can work for, raises your value, and the range of work experience you can get.

3. Jobs could go as far as the banking sector: Kwame spoke about a few industries any GIS expert can thrive in. For instance, you can work as a spatial analyst with mining firms, oil companies, or even telecommunications firms. One can also help banks to increase sales through geographic marketing insights.

Another speaker we cannot ignore is Eva Mwangi, a data engineer at GetINNOtized. She gave an insightful speech on the topic “Social Media accountability vs Self Responsibility.”

 

AGDIC 2019

Photo of Eva Mwangi, Data Engineer for GetINNOtized, speaking at 2019 the AGDIC event

 
On this topic, Eva touched on the uninhibited liberties that many exercise on social media. People post just anything — with no regard for their outlook. This can be dangerous, as these online posts provide data points that employers, spouses, and the general public use to judge characters. Sometimes they use these to determine what opportunities to deprive them of.
 
Furthermore, she gave practical examples on the effects of this recklessness. Ms Mwangi, in effect, urged us all to be particular about our language on social media.
 
AGDIC 2019, to sum things up, was a huge success and we are honored to have taken part in such a memorable event.