FOSS4G2018 Q&A Dar es Salaam

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  • Can you please add pieces of information about workshops (I don't see them mentioned in your proposal).

Mark Iliffe: We will have a full schedule of workshops, that will be included in the price of the full conference ticket, we would also aim to release workshop only tickets as well. As per previous FOSS4Gs we’d aim for a community selection of workshops (and main program) to ensure that the workshops reflect the desire of the community;

  • Are they (Tanzania) included in the cost of the Conference?

Mark Iliffe: s.a.


  • seed commitment of $100,000 from the World Bank for FOSS4G. Is this commitment a guarantee (and expected to be paid back) or is it a gift to the conference?

Mark Iliffe: The $100,000 from the World Bank is a recognition of the need for 'Geo' in countries like Tanzania. I’ve worked for the World Bank for the past five years, mostly in Tanzania but also elsewhere in East Africa, as a Geospatial Specialist in the ICT Group, now I’m moving over to the Urban sector. I manage the project aimed at making informally developed communities in Dar es Salaam more resilient to natural hazards. This has led to one of the largest community mapping projects, with residents across Dar es Salaam working with OSM to map their communities. Now we have very finely detailed maps, these can be used for resilience and community planning, but also urban planning etc. How can we now use this data?

  • What do they aim to achieve by bringing FOSS4G to Dar es Salaam and how does it fit with World Bank goals? Ideally someone from the World Bank will be able to answer these questions.


  • Can you please provide information about security situation in your city and around the venue? Also I'd like to know whether there was any terror attack/ attempts in your city within the last 1 year.

If any, please report that. Mark Iliffe: The security situation in Tanzania is very stable with no terrorist activities in the past year. In comparison to other cities in emerging economies crime is very low and the city is safe.


  • About direct flights from to/from Dar Es Salaam International airport to major cities.

Mark Iliffe: Dar International Airport is accessible by many direct flights through all main hubs, including Amsterdam, Doha, Dubai, Geneva, Istanbul, Nairobi and Addis Ababa. Flights from the USA will require one stop. More info on the number of flights that fly there are here:;

  • Can you tell us the travel-time, cost and distance from the international air-port to the conference venue?

Mark Iliffe: The travel time from the airport is around 20 mins to the venue/downtown hotels. The cost of a taxi starts from 13,000tzs ($7). Once travel plans are confirmed we will aim to provide a shuttle service to town.

  • The most convenient mode of transportation and approx cost of travel within Dar es Salaam?

Mark Iliffe: Taxis within the city centre cost 7,000tzs ($3), to the many beaches and bars on the Peninsular cost 13,000 ($7).

  • Could you tell us something about current FOSS4G related activities among the GIS users in Tanzania.

Mark Iliffe: There is strong core of FOSS users in Tanzania, through the TZ GIS mailing list and the local innovation hubs. These hubs have run development and code sprints previously for QGIS and other FOSS projects, but frankly, these could be improved; hence wanting a FOSS4G to supercharge these communities. The use of FOSS Geo software is quite prevalent in the local community, especially within the local government of Dar es Salaam, this has been further expanded through training workshops ;


  • For the benefit of those of us who are not familiar with Dar, could you give us an indication of the climate in September

Mark Iliffe: September's climate is relatively cool (for East Africa) at around 27 degrees. The weather will be sunny with a gentle breeze. It is not the rainy season and we would not expect any unexpected climatic events.

  • Could you provide an indication of your anticipated pricing for those from lower income economies and students?

Mark Iliffe: We're aiming to make the pricing as competitive as possible for students and those of a low-income (such as the many in the local innovation hubs). We are aiming for below $100 for this, we really want this FOSS4G to be accessible for all. As part of that we will be offering scholarships at no-cost for people that support the conference in some manner. We aim to present detailed costings if requested to do so within our full proposal;


  • Assuming you have 100k $ from the World Bank and let's say 400 attendees paying a full price of $500 - this makes careful calculated an income of 300k$. Also you mention the following: "offering scholarships and discounts for those who would most benefit from attending a FOSS4G". I am also not aware about your costs for venue/food/PCO etc. I know, we are in an really early stage, but I would be happy if you could outline your financial calculation a little bit more precise.

Mark Iliffe: We aim to submit our full financial calculation in our proposal and are still in negotiation with the venue. Our budget will also change as seek additional sponsorship;

  • Maybe it's just a misunderstanding, but you list two Co-chairs, but who will be the chair or do you plan to chair the conference with two people? Background: Two years ago we (F4G 2016's Bonn's LOC) did the same in our proposal but we were pleased to nominate one chair.

Mark Iliffe: We do list two co-chairs, myself as a one international community member with experience of organising a FOSS4G previously (Nottingham, 2013) and a Msilikale Msilanga, a Tanzanian based community member who has worked extensively in building local communities in Tanzania and elsewhere. We feel that this combination allows us to bridge both communities and to ensure that we can deliver the most relevant conference, not just for the emerging local geo/tech scene but for the international one too;