On Tuesday June 26, 2012, the Association of Universities and Colleges Canada funded an event hosted by the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) in Canada, and ARDHI University (ARU) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, called Planning for the Future of a City, Generation, and Workforce: An information and communication technologies seminar and workshop which was at the Protea Hotel in Dar es Salaam.
This Event was organized specifically for women between the ages of 18-25 with various levels of ICT knowledge in order to improve gender equality in a career that is in becoming high in demand. The event started out with seventeen young women participating in GPS training that was conducted by four interns from UFV. The morning session of training included the women being divided into groups where they were taught basic knowledge of what a GPS is capable of, as well as how to make simple, but powerful maps using Google Earth.
After the conclusion of the morning workshop the official program started with introductions from Professor Kombie from ARU & Professor Cherie Enns from UFV, who spoke about how ICT was underdeveloped in Tanzania as well as the importance of women becoming involved in the field.
After introductions were complete ARU PhD students Elenoreta Mbuya and Guido Uhinga presented their research on climate change, flooding and how GPS has contributed to their work. Other representatives included the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the Canadian High Commission, and an industry representative from RiverCross tracking who explained how GPS can be a powerful tool in tracking cargo, vehicles, and even animals. Other attendees included Professor Kyessi from ARU, various other ARU representatives, various NGO representatives, as well as a few journalists from the local newspaper. Similar to how the event kicked off, it was concluded after lunch with a short practical GPS workshop.
This workshop included the women being broken into teams again where they “competed” to apply what they had learned from the morning’s workshop. With assistant from the UFV interns, the women were to find specific waypoints, calculate the area of a specific region of the hotel, as well as show how to check for a good satellite connection.
After two GPS workshops, some informative presentations on planning, GPS, climate change and women’s roles in ICT, two articles were formally printed in the local newspapers about the success of the event.