Project Summary

African youth are normally left behind in technological skills and opportunities, leading to an overreliance on external experts to solve their community challenges. This fellowship is specifically designed to break this vicious circle, change mindsets, and expose youth to opportunities that will lead to skills development and problem-solving by developing technical skills. This will not only benefit the fellows in the program but will act as living evidence of how youth technical skills support can pave the way to technological evolution and how the learning can be used to design other similar projects.

The program — Open Skies Fellows: African Tech for African Data — is implemented through a strong partnership with the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) and Uhurulabs. The partners will work together to bridge this skills gap between youth and the promise of new technologies, with the conviction that all they need are resources, time to develop, and mentorship.

The project is supported by funding from the UK Department for International Development through the Tanzania Urban Resilience Programme

The primary implementers on the project are Humanitarian Openstreetmap Team with OMDTZ managing data collection and field operations

Main Goals of OpenSkies Fellows

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 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 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.
Digna Gasper
Former Innovation Officer


Open Skies Fellows will 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:

OSF is looking for youth with intellectual curiosity, passion for technology, first-principle thinking, a specific idea for how to help a community, focus, past portfolio/projects/experiences, and love of sharing/teaching.






Fondation Botnar



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