The Openstreetmap_Senegal (OSM_SN) community is expanding to the region of Casamance in Senegal
( Version française ici)
After having established burgeoning OSM communities in Dakar, Thies, Saint-Louis and Rufisque, HOT and OSM_SN have had the amazing opportunity to start an OSM project in Casamance. Situated in the South of Senegal, Casamance is the greenest region in Senegal. It is an area with amazing potential—a potential impeded by political conflict since the 80s.
The training in Ziguinchor was jointly organized by the Geography Department at the University of Ziguinchor (UDZ), the Campus Numerique Francophone Partenaire (CNFP), OSM_SN and the HOT.
On December 12th 2012, HOT, through Nicolas Chavent and me, met with Oumar Sall, the head of the Geography Department at the UDZ. Sall immediately, and enthusiastically, organized a 5 days training session (from January 21st to January 25th 2013) for 27 participants, mostly students finishing their Masters in Geography. By hosting this training the CNFP de l’UDZ confirmed the commitment of the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF), already a key organization in the Dakar and Saint-Louis projects.
Professor Oumar Sock, president of UDZ, backed the project by funding the totality of the training for HOT and for the OSM_SN community.
Participation of the OSM_SN community
I lead the training with the help of four facilitators from the OSM_SN community: Jean-Marie Mancabou, Ismaila Seye, from the Grand-Dakar district technical service —the municipality actively utilizes the OSM project tools to map the commune—Awa Dia, programmer and student at the University of Gaston Berger in Saint-Louis, and Bass Thiam, programmer and member of Ndar Numerique a co-working space which plays an active role in the OSM_SN community in Saint-Louis.
The Burgeoning community of mappers in Casamance, a strong reinforcement for the OSM_SN community at large
This training helped allowed 27 people from the UDZ to master the mapping workflow, organization, the gathering of data, edition and quality assurance. These 27 participants emphasized the amazing opportunity that the OSM project offered, and in particular the aspect of the project that allowed a democratic access and use of geographic data.
During the closing ceremony on Saturday we were able to present our work to heads of the University as well as some local authorities, and in particular the President of the Rural Community of Diembering. Their reactions to our work confirms that the OSM project, as a decision-making tool, responds to the mapping desires of citizens and organizations—organizations that previously did not have sufficient GSIs to map their territories.
The University of Ziguinchor, a key location for the OSM_SN project
Before returning to Dakar by boat on Sunday night, we had one last workshop with Oumar Sall. Another training session, geared at the UDZ's teachers, should take place at the end of March 2013 in order to integrate the Openstreetmap project in the University Curriculum. It will also be an opportunity to meet and talk with the new envoys of the Agence Regionale du Developpement, the Agences de Developpement Communale and other NGOs.
Thank you to all the organizers, facilitators and participants in the training!
As I am writing these last few lines, on January 29th, I am in Saint-Louis in order to prepare three training days for 15 mappers, mostly students of the University of Gaston Berger. On Wednesday February 6th, we are going to present our project to the academic and municipal envoys that we met during our last passage here. The next city in line is Thies, starting on February 7th, with a first day of training at the Centre de Recherche et d’Essais, a training sponsored by ThiesLug, a local Opensource community.
Thank you to Paraska Tolan, from Edulogos association, for translation.
Folow Openstreetmap Senegal (OSM_SN) project: