A FOSS4G event can catalyse the geo community in the host country. Now is the time for Africa! Free and open source software in Sub-Saharan Africa is still in its infancy, but here is where the principles of FOSS4G can have the largest impact, in setting the FOSS4G agenda, together we can build the foundations for generations to come. FOSS4G Dar should be seen as a FOSS4G Africa, quite distinct from FOSS4G 2008 in Cape Town which because of its geography had a localised impact. Tanzania is accessible to much more of Africa as well as the Middle East and Arabian Peninsula and Indian subcontinent and so taps into a new ‘impact zone’ for OSGeo.
Our vision is for an accessible and inclusive FOSS4G that complements the existing OSGeo stable while empowering the Open Data, Participatory Mapping and Internet of Things work currently underway. This ranges from locating schools to the instrumentation of communities with cheap, open source, 3D printed weather stations that improve community resilience to climate change. Location and geography are at the heart of these challenges: FOSS4G 2018 in Dar es Salaam would invigorate our existing projects, bringing them to new users and developers while supporting and nurturing the existing community.
Our strong conference program reflects our vision for a diverse and inclusive FOSS4G. The conference program will be driven by our LOC and synchronise with the technology and innovation communities in Dar es Salaam and across Africa. Our LOC is truly international, strongly rooted in Tanzania and will deliver our expansive vision, deepen OSGeo community engagement locally and strengthen the international community.