Friday, December 20, 2013

Day 8 - Reporting the ENSDI work

Our last conference day was incredible!

The last session of the day was to summarize the work of the week and then to begin to discuss ways forward. I presented a lecture to provide a context for our the activities of the week. Recall that yesterday as I was teaching web GIS aspects, there were two rounds of discussion by my Ethiopian GIS colleagues on the current and future steps of NSDI in Ethiopia.

After completing the summary, we had a fellow Ethiopian GIS colleague give a report on the rounds of discussions from Thursday. One of the many brilliant GIS experts in the country and one of four team leaders of the Bahir Dar Geospatial Data Center, Getachew Tesfaye, gave the presentation - which he was lauded for in clarity and summary.

Getachew presenting the summary and 5 main points towards next steps

After Getachew's excellent presentation, the Director of the Ethiopian Mapping Agency gave a wonderful address and interwove the recommendations for moving forward with additional initiatives that fit towards and NSDI. He commented on the current steps towards the NSDI moving forward and documentation toward that end. Director Muhammad is not only a gifted leader, it was clear his intentions are to include the GIS community experts in the process as he has relied on them in the past and is relying on them now. Personally I was very very impressed with the leadership members of EMA during the week and paid particular attention to their discussions around the table. I have tremendous respect and confidence in the GIS community in Ethiopia to continue pushing towards a National Spatial Data Infrastructure. One additional next step discussed by Getachew is the next GIS workshop towards NSDI to be held soon at Bahir Dar University next year.

Dr. Bascom given out various certificates of accomplishment
Dr. Bascom given out various certificates of accomplishment
Dr. Bascom given out various certificates of accomplishment

Dr. Bascom given out various certificates of accomplishment

As a gift, the participants gave the most beautiful neckties to Dr. Bascom and myself. Here we are in celebration with Director of EMA, Sultan Mohammad.

The goals of the week were accomplished in wonderful ways. The next steps forward are being crafted by Ethiopians and it was a great opportunity to be with my GIS colleagues as a simple voice in guiding some of their thoughts. I am excited for Ethiopia and for the benefits that will continue to develop towards and NSDI. I will continue to remain in the efforts as is needed.

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