With the assistance and constant advice from Rich Quodomine, a GIS analyst with New York State’s Department of Transportation, Olemu Ogheneochuko and his team launched GISforAfrica on May 1, 2013. Ogheneochuko, along with Apanpa Idris, Bamidele Adedayoa and Alexis N’Guessan, envisioned the mission of GISforAfrica to be the creation of platforms for community and economic development. GISforAfrica initiatives set up platforms for GIS to solve real-life and real-time problems, thereby creating a new culture in approaching education, business, agriculture, government, security etc. Initiatives to date include RING of STRENGTH, EduCONNECT and the Quick Response initiative.
The GISforAfrica EduCONNECT Initiative launched in Akure, the Ondo state capital of Nigeria, during the recently-concluded Geoweek Celebration in three different schools in the city.EduCONNECT introduced programs to standardize an educational process that is interesting and compelling as an integral part of the new approach to good decision making and problem solving. The initiative is a platform that allows teachers and students at various levels to contribute and benefit from education built on GIS and the world’s latest technologies.
Aligning our goals with the campaign for geoliteracy in the world, the GISforAfrica EduCONNECT initiative is presently working with geography teachers and students in Nigeria, especially those in Ondo state, a state in the southwestern part of the country. The goals are:
- Enhance geoliteracy
- Increase availability and effective utilization of teaching aids and materials
- Create communication and connection with the global community
- Develop competent citizens
The EduCONNECT initiative is designed to better channel stakeholders’ contributions to attract investors into the education sector in Africa, starting with Nigeria. Stakeholders include government, local companies, GIS and geography experts, international companies, etc. Each group would play its own unique role, from sensitizing the general public, to provision of feasibility aids. The EduCONNECT initiative adopts a system of connection and communication to speed up the feasibility of our goals.
3 Lives Xpot Global Resources Nigeria Limited, an aspiring indigenous company with great potential, has agreed and is preparing to stage GISforAfrica events starting with the EduCONNECT workshop for geography teachers in Akure, January 24-25, 2014 at Fiwasaye Girls Grammar School Alagbaka, Akure. Other events include Explore and Challenge night. Also gvSIG, a GIS open source software company in Spain, has been very supportive.
We look forward to seeing great people, organizations, companies and government bodies become part of our support team by aiding EduCONNECT. Our initiatives accommodate collaboration of aligned goal parties.
We work confidentially with donors; aid can be in sales or donations and will be channeled into our initiative as our stakeholders prefer. We believe Africa and Africans can enjoy the beauty and brilliance of GIS and GIS-oriented innovations with the support of our support team.
It is safe to say that with the GISforAfrica initiative, everyone is a winner.