Mapathon staged for South Sudan


Image: By Google maps
Mapathon staged for South Sudan

South Sudan, about to become the world’ s newest country, is being mapped with the help of Google and the World Bank.

The World Bank reports that more than 60 members of the Southern Sudanese diaspora came together to help locate schools, hospitals, and other social infrastructure at a “ Mapathon” on South Sudan this week. Held at the World Bank’ s headquarters in Washington, D.C. in the US, the day-long event was jointly organized by Google and the World Bank. South Sudan is expected to become the world’ s newest country come July this year.
The event began with remarks from World Bank Vice President for the Africa Region Obiageli Ezekwesili, who talked about how today’ s technology can empower civil society, including the diaspora, to collaborate and support the development process. This is especially in places which face daunting development challenges, such as South Sudan.  “ This is about shifting the center of gravity from organizations to people, and empowering them to solve their own problems and develop their own solutions using maps,” said Ezekwesili.
South Sudan is a large but severely under-mapped area, and without geospatial information on basic social infrastructure, it is challenging for the government, civil society, and development partners to visualize plans, see existing infrastructure, and select areas where they want to work and develop projects.

Having good maps of roads, settlements, buildings and other services will help key stakeholders to evaluate risks and current needs, and better target their efforts to support the development process. The World Bank Group has played an important role in Sudan’ s development since 2005, and is deepening its engagement in South Sudan as it prepares for independence.
“ Traditionally, you work with cartographic agencies to develop maps that take months or even years to publish. With innovations in geospatial tools and access to local knowledge and data gathered from people who know their communities best, maps can be created in real time that have real value, said Aleem Walji of the World Bank Institute.

The “ Mapathon” provided training for participants using Google’ s online mapping tool, Google Map Maker, and groups sat together to map the regions they know best.  It is one of several events the Bank has organized with different private sector partners designed to showcase the growing importance of mapping for development.  

Several hundred edits were made to the map of South Sudan in four hours by volunteers from the South Sudanese Diaspora, technology, and development worlds. As those edits are approved they will appear live in Google Maps.
The mapping exercise is a first step in tapping into the tacit knowledge that Southern Sudanese diaspora have on the region, and aims to build a community of practitioners that will remain engaged in South Sudan over time. “ South Sudan is so underdeveloped in many aspects, and technology is one of them. So by mapping South Sudan, this is a step in the right direction. It is also a useful way for the diaspora to connect with our people on the ground,” said Reec Akuak, a small business owner based in the United.States and Treasurer of the Southern Sudanese Community, an umbrella organization for the Southern Sudanese diaspora groups in the U.S.

Share the News

Get Daily Newsletter

comments powered by Disqus


Omatek CEO is NCS 2015 IT Personality of the Year

Mr. Etim Amana, Prof. Sola Aderounmu, Engineer Mrs Florence Seriki and Alhaji Ladi Ogunneye The Chief Executive Officer of Omatek Ventures Plc, Engineer (Mrs.) Florence Seriki, has emerged the recipient of the IT Personality of the Year 2015 in Nigeria. Read More

Networks Unlimited supports future that starts with the alphabet

To help boost South Africa's reading and writing skills, the country's leading value-added distributor, Networks Unlimited, is supporting UNESCO's International Literacy Day by providing funding to Literacy for Life, a provider of educational writing and reading aids to disadvantaged schools. Read More

Citrix appoints new vice president for EMEA

Citrix has announced the appointment of Sherif Seddik as Managing Director and Vice President for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Read More

Huawei sponsors students for China study trip

Huawei Technologies Botswana recently teamed up with Botswana's Ministry of Education and Skills Development to award a sponsorship for ten ICT students to study Huawei corporate culture and other see the latest ICTs in China. Read More

Second ‘ICTs into learning’ course concluded

The Botswana College of Distance and Open Learning (BOCODOL) has just concluded its second workshop on Integrating ICTs into teaching and learning at its head office in Gaborone.  Read More

2nd eCommerce Expo opens in Accra

The second eCommerce Exposition has opened in Ghana’s capital Accra with a call on eCommerce service operators to provide easy and accessible online trading platforms to meet the ever growing demand of the country’s emerging middle class.  Read More

Millennium Bim selects Ingenico Group to upgrade its POS fleet in Mozambique

Ingenico Group, a leader in seamless payment, has announced that Millennium Bim, the largest bank in Mozambique, has partnered with Ingenico Group to replace its current fleet of point-of-sales throughout the country. Read More

Gartner CIO Survey shows digital business means platform business

CIOs expect digital revenue will grow from 17 per cent in 2015 to 38 per cent of total private sector revenue by 2020, according to a Gartner, Inc. survey of 1,075 CIOs in EMEA. Read More

Ericsson, Worldwide E-Learning Campus invest in ICT skills development in Rwanda

Worldwide E-Learning Campus (WEC) in Rwanda has launched a partnership with Ericsson to develop professional ICT competencies within the country.  Read More

Global mining leaders discuss digitised mine of the future

Members of the SAP Advisory Council for Mining are meeting in Cape Town, South Africa, for two days of in-depth discussions on the processes and technologies that will support and drive the digital mine of the future.  Read More


Sage ERP AfricaSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoiceMicrosoft 4AfrikaNetworks Unlimited


eCommerce in Africa urged to take advantage of mobile eCommerce in Africa urged to take advantage of mobile

The Executive Chairman of Alltel has urged operators of eCommerce in Ghana and Africa as a whole to take advantage of the current trend for Africans to trade online via their mobile handsets. 


Nigeria needs $25b investment in broadband, says WoodNigeria needs $25b investment in broadband, says Wood

Telecoms executive Adrian Wood speaks to Kokumo Goodie about investment potential in Nigeria.