[Osmf-talk] OSM Uganda Local Chapter application

Geoffrey Kateregga kateregga1 at gmail.com
Fri Nov 27 14:01:40 UTC 2020

Hello everyone,

Thank you for the support and comments on our application to become the
second local chapter from Africa that is affiliated to the OSM Foundation.

As OpenStreetMap Uganda, we are using this as a learning process so we can
inspire more communities from Africa to get on board and become local
chapters as well, so any feedback on our application is highly appreciated.

Local communities in Africa face numerous challenges which I am sure are
different from those faced in other parts of the world. We have been a
community since 2011, and we got registered in 2017 as a local non-profit
organization in Uganda, run by the OpenStreetMap community in Uganda.

With this organization in place, we are able to raise funding to pay for
office space, internet, facilitate training for our volunteers, and develop
partnerships with government and organizations like Red Cross. We are able
to respond to disasters in the country through mapping, working with our
volunteers to create map data for the most vulnerable places.

In 2017 we organized State of the Map Africa in Kampala, which has now
become a regular event that took place in Abidjan, Ivory Coast in 2019 and
is happening in Nairobi, Kenya in 2021. Through this, we are growing
continent-wide collaboration across Africa, where OSM communities are
working together to grow OpenStreetMap.

What is the incentive for local OSM communities to become Local Chapters?
One of the requirements to become a local chapter is to be a registered
organization. Sustaining that organization is left to the community to
figure out. What kind of support is the foundation and the general
community giving to local communities that are rising up. We want to be
able to do more, with OpenStreetMap in our countries, there is a gap that
we can fill to contribute to development in our countries, we need to
engage Government, Businesses and NGOs and encourage/teach them to use
OpenStreetMap data, we can only do this when we are an organization that is
well organized and is sustainable.

OpenStreetMap Uganda is a non-profit organization, non of the board members
directly profits from the organization. We employ a few staff members, to
run the operations and different projects. We don’t just want to be a
community that does mapping, we were already doing that before we were an
organization, we want to do more and create more local impact.

There are many foreign companies across Africa, that come in and do
OpenStreetMap related work,  without directly benefiting local OSM
communities, we need to change this, we need to develop the capacity of
these communities to lead these projects themselves, we want to teach our
members' organization development skills, business skills, communications
skills, etc, so that when such opportunities come, they can take them on
them themselves, and we can only do this if we are a self-sustaining
non-profit organization.

Hope this answers some of the questions on why we are structured the way we
are as an organization. And we are willing to listen to advice from the
community, on how we can have a sustainable organization run by the OSM
community, something that will benefit other communities around Africa.

Kind regards,

Geoffrey Kateregga (user: Kateregga1)
Chairman Board, OpenStreetMap Uganda

On Thu, Nov 26, 2020 at 6:07 PM Frederik Ramm <frederik at remote.org> wrote:

> Hi,
> On 26.11.20 10:46, Blake Girardot wrote:
> > OSM Uganda is my idea of a success story.
> Sicne you wrote this in reply to Craig Allan's post - just to be very
> clear on this point: You see no issues with granting local chapter
> status to a commercial organisation with the main chartered purpose of
> providing paid services?
> Or do you want to say that OSM Uganda is a bona fide nonprofit, and that
> it sounds like a commercial organisation is due to the "The vagaries of
> Ugandan organizations" that you "do not pretend to understand"?
> In the latter case, perhaps we could ask an independent person from
> Uganda to judge whether what we have before us sounds like the average
> nonprofit in Uganda.
> I found Craig's comments rather convincing; I'd rather not give local
> chapter status to a commercial GIS consultancy. But I'd be happy to
> listen to someone who *does* understand the vagaries of Ugandan
> organizations.
> Bye
> Frederik
> --
> Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"
> _______________________________________________
> osmf-talk mailing list
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