Open Skies Fellows

African Tech for African Data

About us

African youth do not have access to much of the opportunity to learn offered by the information and data revolution. Open Skies Fellows: African Tech for African Data, is a program designed to develop youth in urban settings, giving them power and responsibility to gain technical and social skills, so they can leverage the full potential of frontier technologies.

We are OpenMap Development TanzaniaHumanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, and Uhurulabs, three organizations dedicated to using frontier tech for humanitarian and development work. Now we would like to take our experiences and turn them into a technical apprenticeship program for African youth, emphasizing women as participants and leaders.

The three broad goals of the project are

Develop

Develop the next generation of African experts on frontier technologies, emphasizing women as participants and leaders

  • Select and develop 40 Open Skies Fellows over two years 
    1. 4 cohorts of 10 African youth, will receive 5 month fellowships 
    2. Prioritize female fellows, using a 70/30 ratio to accommodate for the existing imbalance
Support

Support innovative and practical projects in local communities for social good using technology 

  • Support community projects addressing local needs, honing practical skills
    1. Fellows will carry out small-scale projects addressing a local need
    2. Fellows will give workshops at high schools to catalyze interest in frontier tech for 320-480 students 
Cultivate

Cultivate existing hubs of open data, frontier technology and innovation at OMDTZ and throughout the region

  • Cultivate hubs of open data, frontier technology and innovation at OpenMap Development Tanzania and throughout the region
    1. Existing hubs will receive support and engagement from the program

“Open Skies Fellows” is a fellowship program designed to develop youth in urban settings, giving them power and responsibility to gain technical and social skills, so they can leverage the full potential of frontier technologies.

Fellows

Open Skies Fellows have an opportunity to gain skills that will serve them not only in the drone industry, but in many other aspects of the modern tech economy.

Drones themselves can be powerful tools to improve lives (as well as bringing risks both ethical and practical). However, they also drive learning. To design, build, and operate a drone, and then to make use of the data and other outputs, touches on:

Factors for working with Us

  • Passion for technology
  • A specific idea for how it will help a community
  • Past portfolio, projects, experiences 

Skills applicable

  • Mechanical engineering, mechatronics, and aeronautical engineering
  • Computer-Assisted Design (CAD)
  • Small-scale manufacturing, additive manufacturing (3D printing), materials science
  • Sensors and controllers
  • Battery and power systems
  • Embedded systems (IoT and industrial control systems), low-level control software
  • High-level planning and mission control software
  • Networking, wireless systems, and communication
  • Geographical Information Systems (GIS), Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS)
  • Computer vision, photogrammetry, point cloud processing
  • Industrial health and safety, legislative compliance, standards development (the drone industry still does not have established standards, so operators and developers must work together with regulators and local agencies to be compliant)
Project Coverage
  • Dar es Salaam
  • Tanga 
  • Morogoro
  • Dodoma   
  • Zanzibar 
  • Huye
  • Musanze

The project is connected to several SDGs:

  • Zero Hunger – Building capacity and productivity 
  • Quality Education – Promoting opportunities and lifelong learning
  • Gender Equality – empowering girls and women
  • Decent Work and Economic Growth –  creating marketable skills, new employment
  • Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure – incubating fellows’ ideas
  • Partnerships for the Goals – enhancing regional & international cooperation
Project Core Partners