State of the Map 2024

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31 Mar. Call for venues opened.
31 May Deadline for call for venues.
14 Aug. Nairobi selected as host city.
17 Nov. Event website launched.
21 Dec. Travel grant programme announced.
31 Jan. Deadline for travel grant applications.
5 Mar. Starting Call for Participation
28 Mar. Opened Call for Abstracts: OSM Science
23 Apr. Deadline of Call for Participation
24 May Deadline of Call for Abstracts: OSM Science
6–8 Sep. Main conference days with presentations, workshops, discussions, social events and more.

State of the Map 2024 will take place in Nairobi and online on 6-8 September 2024. Read the announcement and the bid.

Check the official website:

A giraffe with a beautiful background of Nairobi City Skyline.jpg


The conference will take place at the University of Nairobi Towers. It is a 22-storey building and has a total floor area of 28,000m². The building hosts the Chandaria Centre for Performing Arts which can accommodate up to 500 people with its several seminar and conference rooms that are fitted with state-of-the-art information and communication technology (ICT) services.

Wheelchair access

There is a ramp and elevators to the rooms for wheelchair access.


University of Nairobi Towers

Chandaria- UON SyRFyd.jpeg UON-Taifa-Hall.png UON-Breakout-Rooms.jpg

Manu Chandaria Auditorium, capacity 500; Taifa Hall, capacity 600; Breakout-rooms, capacity 100



Nairobi is Kenya’s capital city and the fastest growing economic hub in Africa. Nairobi is richly endowed with resources and modern infrastructure ranging from roads, hospitals, hotels, clubs, parks and many others. Being strategically located in East Africa, Nairobi boasts of a variety of amenities that are equipped with international standards for the best consumer experience. Any visitor from abroad would not struggle to find their way around the city especially with the use of mobile phone based apps like Airbnb, Uber, Glovo and other service provider apps which make it easier to access basic services with the quickest ease.

Nairobi has decent and affordable accommodation facilities within Westlands, Parklands, Kilimani neighbourhoods and the Central Business District. All these areas are within proximity of proposed conference venue.

Additionally, Kenya has the world’s 14th fastest mobile internet speed which is fast and reliable. This is according to a 2017 report from content delivery network Akamai and is ranked first in internet speed in Africa. The city has good internet connectivity and coverage with internet service providers that offer a variety of internet plans, from basic to high-speeds at affordable costs.

Lastly, Nairobi is the only capital city in the world with a national park. This unique feature makes Nairobi a special place to host a conference. The city also has a vibrant cultural scene, with a wide variety of restaurants, green spaces and social activities. This means that there is something for everyone to enjoy after conference hours.

Is it a LGBT friendly space?

Nairobi has a more progressive outlook compared to other regions in the country, and there is a growing LGBTQ+ community and support organisations within the city. Nairobi is a multicultural city, with people from all over the world calling it home. Being a major economic and commercial center in Kenya, the city attracts people from all over the world. This gives the city its diversity and unique features making it one of the best and most tourist connection hubs in Africa. Nairobi also serves as a host to several international and regional conferences, conventions and seminars and boasts of a zero-tolerance policy on discrimination, harassment or any form of mistreatment. This includes conferences like the Internet Governance Forum in 2023, the United Nations Environment Assembly in 2022 and the International Conference on Population and Development in 2019.

In relation to the local LGBTQ+ laws, in 2023, the Supreme Court of Kenya ruled that the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (NGLHRC) must be allowed to officially register as a non-governmental organization allowing for the community to associate freely. These rulings are a major victory for the LGBTQ+ community in Kenya and are also a significant step forward for human rights in Kenya.

Medical and travel safety

There are emergency service providers who are on speed dial and they are timely in their response. Among them are the Nairobi County Rapid response team, St. John’s Ambulance and Red Cross Kenya. They collaborate in most cases to address crises like fire, disease outbreak(s), and accidents.

What about terrorism or criminalism?

Nairobi is heavily manned by security personnel from both government and private entities and there are barely any cases of insecurity. There are plain-clothed police officers who patrol the city streets and in residential areas. There are also county council police who operate daily, as well as administrative police, and they collaborate to ensure public safety and enforce law and order. The proposed conference venue is also well-manned with entry limited to specific groups.


Jomo Kenyatta International Airport is well connected and boasts of over 40 passenger airlines. International airlines fly to Nairobi from Europe, the United States, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, and Kenya Airways is a major airline hub for most African countries and destinations. Nairobi can be reached via buses, especially by those people coming from and around East Africa, with a maximum transport cost of $35.

Preparing for your travel


To enter Kenya, your passport must have:

  • an ‘expiry date’ at least 6 months after the date you arrive
  • at least 2 blank pages

Check with your travel provider that your passport and other travel documents meet requirements. Renew your passport if you need to. You will be denied entry if you do not have a valid travel document.

Visa restrictions

Visa regulations to travel to Kenya state that citizens of approximately 45 countries can visit the country without needing a visa, depending on the duration and purpose of the planned stay in Kenya. It also allows up to 140 countries and territories worldwide to obtain a single entry electronic visa through an online application at least 7 days before travel. All travellers to Kenya will be required to apply and pay for the electronic visa prior to travel - exceptions can be found on the website of the Kenyan Civil Aviation Authority. You can apply for an electronic visa at

Covid-19 rules

Currently you do not need a negative COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination to enter Kenya. Please check again well in advance of your travel.

If you have flu-like symptoms when you arrive, you must take one or more COVID-19 tests at your own expense. If tests show you have COVID-19, you must isolate. For more information see COVID-19 travel requirements from the Kenyan Civil Aviation Authority.

Custom rules

There are strict rules about goods you can take into or out of Kenya. You must declare anything that may be prohibited or subject to tax or duty.

It is illegal to import or export drones without prior approval from the Kenyan Civil Aviation Authority\ (KCAA). Contact the KCAA well in advance of travel if you wish to bring a drone to Kenya.

Health insurance

You might want to consider getting health insurance for your travel.