Collaborate, Create, Communicate

AAGW 2010 Roundup

The 2nd Africa Agriculture Geospatial Week (AAGW) opened earlier this month in Nairobi with a speech from Kenya’s Minister for Agriculture, Hon. Dr Sally Kosgei. Her thought-provoking address challenged researchers and GIS practitioners to ‘discuss steps towards the development of delivery mechanisms for making geospatial information accessible to poor smallholders in the villages across Sub-Saharan Africa,’ – a timely topic that was already high on the event’s agenda. Click here to read more extracts from her speech.

Participation exceeded expectations. The audience during the opening ceremony comprised participants representing more than 60 organizations, 13 CGIAR partners and 30 students from universities in Kenya, all of whom had come together to explore how location specific intelligence could be used to support agricultural production. Then there were countless others, keen GIS proponents unable to attend, who were able to watch the event via a live video stream.

The afternoon of the first day was devoted to looking at the AGCommons project and the launching of its new platform. Find out more about the launch and the five innovative projects undertaken by AgCommons and the key ways in which they can serve the needs of those in the last 10 km.

The week continued with the theme ‘Understanding our own location’, which included learning about the activities, approaches and ideas of representatives from the Consortium for Spatial Information (CSI) of the CGIAR. This was followed by a workshop that highlighted presentations from various organizations, thereby exposing participants to a wide range of tools, methods and approaches and how they can be applied to key areas of agricultural research for development and also be incorporated into the CGIAR’s 7 Mega Programs.

To reward innovation in approaches as well as the sharing and application of geospatial science, while also celebrating successes achieved in these areas, prizes were given out to a number of participants.

During AAGW, the event’s organizers also experimented with new ways of reaching a wider audience. As mentioned above, one of the tools used with great success was UStream, which enabled sessions to be made available to colleagues who were unable to make it to Nairobi. Viewers were also able to spread the news of the video feed quickly, as the streaming page has a direct link with Twitter. What’s more, it’s free! Find out more by clicking here.