VizAfrica conference preparations reach tail end

Preparations for the 2nd Data, Information and Scientific Visualization Symposium in Africa (VIZAFRICA) conference which is taking place in Gaborone from the 18 to the 19 of November has reached the final stretch.  The event was held for the first time in August 2018 in Nairobi, Kenya and was organized by CODATA Kenya and the ICT Centre of Open Data (iCEOD), Jomo Kenyata University of Agriculture and Technology.

Biztechafrica was invited to witness the meeting were the event organisers were drawing the last strings on the preparations. The meeting was presided over by one of the Co-Chair VizAfrica 2019 Dr. Audrey Masizana and her compatriot Dr Mogotlhwane. According to the meeting notes, the preparations for the event were almost complete save for a few touch-ups that needed attention. For example, all the administrative issues were all done with as well as everything to do with technical preparations, media arrangements and management, the choice of keynote speakers and almost all the groundwork was completed in readiness for the massive event which will see delegates coming from all corners of the globe. 

Out of an expected contingent of about 150 delegates, almost 100 have confirmed their willingness to attend and a sizeable number have paid the fees for the conference. According to the programme seen by this writer, a brief be given by the Kenyan High Commissioner to Botswana H.E. (Hon) Mohamed M. Shidiye.  While the keynote address will be allotted to the incoming Minister of Transport and Communication. Currently Botswana has no designated ministers in any portfolio because the country was having some presidential and parliamentary elections and the president is yet to assemble his ministerial team. 

In a communique to participants, the two Co-Chairs of the symposium, Dr Audrey Masizana from the UB and Prof. Muliaro Wafula from Kenya they expressed hope that the upcoming conference will hold ground.  “Botswana is proud to have successfully hosted the International Data Week in 2018 which attracted international audience of over 800 participants from across the globe. 

VizAfrica 2019 aims to leverage on this success to continue the conversation on issues around Data Visualization relating to theory, policy, technology and practice. The theme of the symposium is “Application of data, Information and Scientific Visualization for Resource Management and Sustainability.” 

Data, information and scientific visualization uses uncomplicated language to simplify things into concepts that can be easily grasped in graphical format enabling easy understanding insight and ability to understand cross-cutting complex issues and understanding patterns to inform formation of successful strategies and solutions. Some of the importance of visualization include but are not limited to:  it manages influxes of new information making it easy to identify trends, visual trends ease understanding of complex and cross cutting issues enabling predictive futuristic, scientific modelling, and it also brings crucial correlation and relationships into focus among the many uses of the innovation. 

The symposium also includes two a week summer school training on data science visualization. The registration fee for students and researchers can be found on the VizAfrica 2019 Symposium website. 

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