I have been fortunate to attend the AfricaGIS Conference over the last week, which also coincided with the opening of the Google Uganda Office here in Kampala.
The conference attracted around 500 people, and was the something that Google was keen to support by providing sponsorship, but also by using it as a opportunity to carry out a series of free workshops on the use of various Google technologies.
These were a great success almost every one of the sixteen workshops was full covering subjects a diverse at using Fusions tables with Google GEO products to developing field data capture applications on Android phones.
Running a mini university of this nature requires a hugh commitment of people and resources, and Rebecca Moore and her team have received well deserved plaudits here at the conference for their efforts this week.
There is a real sense that we are reaching the point when Internet technologies can begin to make a major contribution to economic development in East Africa
Accessibility to bandwidth is improving on an almost day to day basis, something I personally experienced as I’m now happily righting this blog post on a 10Mb/s connection from my hotel… you would struggle to find that in many hotels in the US !
A point I made during my keynote was that we will hopefully soon reach the point when we can modify the famous internet cartoon, “On the internet, nobody knows you are a dog”, to “On the Internet, nobody knows your Internet business is in Kampala”, in other-words imagine the economic benefit to innovators and businesses in Uganda having the same access to markets and resources as similar businesses in Palo Alto.
Tomorrow I’m attending WhereCamp Kampala, and look forward to seeing more examples of grass roots use on internet GEO technology in East Africa.
Written and submitted from the Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort, Uganda (0.238N, 32.623E)