DANIEL K. NANGHAKA: Geocoding of socio-economic data will give a great boost in the geospatial industry


Executive Director at ILICIT AFRICA

Daniel is an Information Technology graduate, trained as a Software Engineer, Certified Network Engineer and later Mobile Application Developer. He is also a Google Earth trainer and GIS trainer an Impact Business Leader (Ashesi Fellow) and Scholar. During he's own time you'll find him cycling or climbing a mountain, to relax his mind. Daniel is  currently the Executive Director ILICIT Africa, WASH Reporter,Pilot Program Coordinator-(Outreach and Engagement) at ICANN At Large (AFRALO).Full Profile on LinkedIn or Follow on Twitter @dnanghaka

Qn: Tell us a little bit about ILICIT Africa’s work, what are some of the activities to engage in, what are some of the projects you’ve done with geospatial technology?

ILICIT Africa stands for Integrating Livelihoods through Communication Information Technology for Africa. At ILICIT Africa we have diverse activities in different sectors aiming to empower communities, Individuals and Organizations. On the projects, we have done landslide assessment in Uganda, specifically in the Elgon region. This involved mapping risk areas and also leading to awareness in the communities. This projects is still ongoing, and now branded as Project Thread (A self-sustaining Wi-Fi mesh network node that enables early warning systems and personal safety alert system in remote areas)

Qn: At ILICIT AFRICA, what is the strategic position of utilization of geospatial technology now and in the future to achieve your mandates, especially consideration the technological transformations occurring with this industry?

The Geospatial wing of ILICIT Africa aims to empower organizations to incorporate Geo technologies in the day to day operations. ILICIT Africa has had partnerships with various organizations and companies and trained staff in organizations to adapt Geospatial tools to gather data especially using Mobile Data Collection tools like ODK. ILICIT Africa organization Geo-Workshop for ME staff to adapt mobile data collection tools and incorporate in it geo data. Further more training have been organized with Organizations especially Non profits in use of GIS Tools like QGIS, Open Street Map and Google Earth.

Qn: How would you rate the uptake of Geospatial technology in the line of social work? What are the opportunities we are still to see being exploited in the future for social development?

There still exist a lot of data that is not yet geo-coded. The geo-coding of this data will give a great boost in the industry. The integration of different entities in the Geospatial industry will play a key role in revamping and improving the industry in a big way.

Qn: FOSSFA, I’m not sure how many people are aware of it. As a council member, would you tell us its spirits. What is it to achieve?

FOSSFA Promotes the use of the FOSS model in African development. Promotes the integration and adoption of FOSS in national policies Coordinates Africa's Free Software efforts Uses FOSSFA expertise to add value to FOSS initiatives in the continent Acts as Africa's FOSS voice plays an interface role between international and continental FOSS efforts Contributes FOSS applications towards the achievement of women empowerment, the Millennium Development Goals and sustainable development in Africa. Promotes African FOSS expertise, creativity and industry Partners with development organizations who share same goals with FOSSFA

Qn: What are some of the marks FOSSFA has made along its mandate especially in the geospatial realm?

FOSSFA is a strong advocate for open source tools, through capacity building such as training.
Qn: How is the uptake of GIS in Uganda?

The uptake of GIS in the country is quite on high gear with organizations adopting the technology at quite a high rate. Big organizations like NEMA, Ministry of Water and Ministry of energy have full working GIS solutions. Generally, it’s moving on well.

Qn: With East Africa striving to become one economic zone, what influence do you think this will have on the Geospatial industry in EA?

Right now the solutions in the Geospatial sector are taking lead in the development of business solutions and changing the way we operate. In East African region, the uptake of technologies such as FOSS is helping industries and organizations work faster and efficiently while maintaining their budgets. Products such as QGIS has so much power that organizations are yet to realize and make them their mainstream GIS.

Qn: Do you think EA can run Joint Geospatial Industry programs to raise our consumption level of Geospatial data? Similar to INSPIRE Initiatives among others?

Yes, we need a Geospatial integration of key industrial players, have license fees lowered, Open source tools promoted and then this will raise the consumption of the use of geospatial data

Qn: Geo4Africa summit, a very unique event of its own. Tell us a little bit about it and what do we expect from the summit. Also, how can such activities be replicated across Africa to boost this industry?

Geo4Africa is Africa’s top premium GIS summit to enhance Geospatial technologies in the Africa region. The summit is global to attract all key players in the industry to the region to boost the use of Geospatial technology through showcase of projects, training on various platforms, and mentor-ship by the experts in the sector to bridge the Geospatial knowledge gap that exist in the  African region.

More information about the summit can be found on the summit website

Qn: In your last words...

GIS is easy and I urge policy makers to allocate funding for Geospatial tools. Let the users go mobile on data collection so as to save costs and save the trees (making paper)