State of the Map 2024/Call for venues/Nairobi

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Bid for SotM 2024 in Nairobi, Kenya

Our bid to host SotM 2024 is centered on celebrating the potential of Africa as a continent and promoting the potential of OSM in communities, institutions and governments. Nairobi is a vibrant and dynamic city that boasts of its strategic location in East Africa and Africa at large. It also serves as the entry point of the rest to the world, it has a well established ICT infrastructure and a burgeoning tech and innovation ecosystem. Our vision for the conference is to provide a platform for African and the world’s OSM enthusiasts, developers, academicians and policymakers to share knowledge and ideas, enhance collaborations for developing a better world. Highlighting the immense potential in solving our diverse problems such as infrastructure and resource mapping, disaster response and social justice. Nairobi's rich cultural, natural and urban landscape has an excellent backdrop for the SotM conference, hosting this event will inspire and empower generations of mappers and community builders while strengthening the global OSM community.

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


Describe your team here and answer the following questions:

The LOC for State of the Map 2024 would consist of members of OSM Kenya. We are a local OpenStreetMap community of users, contributors, enthusiasts and advocates of OSM in Kenya. The community has been organizing community events and coordinating local mapping activities since 2018.

How many group members has the team?

  • Walter Mayeku
  • Keren Wang’ombe
  • Laura Mugeha
  • Victor Gitonga
  • Peter Ageng’a
  • Sharon Omoja
  • Michael Ndaro
  • Japheth Isaboke
  • Jackson Kimani
  • Duncan Kebut
  • Isaiah Wandabwa
  • Geoffrey Kateregga

How is the team and the group members connected to OpenStreetMap

  • Walter Mayeku - Member of OSM Kenya, OSM Africa and the OSM Foundation, active contributor to OSM and volunteer with several HOT WGs.
  • Keren Wang’ombe - Is a Member of OSM Kenya, a long term contributor of OpenStreetMap, member of OSM Foundation and a volunteer of HOTOSM working group.
  • Laura Mugeha - OSM Contributor, OSM Africa volunteer, OSMF member since 2019, HOTOSM voting member since 2021, Former YouthMappers Regional ambassador(2019-2022), and Founding member and previous community coordinator for OSM Kenya.
  • Peter Ageng’a - Is an active contributor on openstreetmap, a member of OSM Kenya and former Youthmappers President of The University of Nairobi chapter. He is also an alumni of the HOT DQI 2021. Peter is currently a GIS Consultant at Map Kibera Trust.
  • Sharon Omoja - long term OSM contributor, member of the OSMF, HOT Voting member, part of YouthMappers and OSM Kenya Community
  • Michael Ndaro- Is an active OSM Contributor, a volunteer at HOT, Youthmappers Alumni and currently a UN Mappers Intern.
  • Victor Gitonga - OSM member and contributor. Former president of The Technical University of Kenya YouthMappers Chapter.
  • Japheth Isaboke - An active OSM Contributor, a volunteer at HOT, Youthmappers Alumni and Intern at Locate IT.
  • Jackson Kimani- Is an active OSM contributor, a member of OSM Kenya and OSM Africa.
  • Duncan Kebut - Is an active OSM contributor, a member of OSM Kenya and OSM Africa, works at HOTOSM.
  • Isaiah Wandabwa - An OSM Contributor, Youthmappers Alumni, Former President of Kenyatta University GIS Club (KUGISC) Youthmappers Chapter - 2-terms 2018 and 2019 and a member of OSM Kenya Community
  • Geoffrey Kateregga - is a long-term OpenStreetMap contributor, Member of OSM Uganda, OSM Africa, member of OSMF, member of LCCWG, HOT voting member, working with HOT

Have some of the group experience in organizing a large conference?

  • Sharon Omoja is a member of OSM Africa community, organized SoTM Africa 2019 in Grand Bassam in Cote D'ivoire as the lead of the Scholarships Committee, FOSS4G UK 2020 Online and SotM Africa 2021 online.
  • Geoffrey Kateregga was part of the organizing team for FOSS4G 2018, State of the Map Africa 2017, 2019, 2021 and 2023, Wiki Indaba Conference 2021, Wiki Indaba Conference 2022, HOT Summit 2021 and 2022
  • Laura Mugeha is part of the organizing team for State of the Map Africa and has participated as part of the Programs Committee in the Communications & Tech committee in 2019 and 2021. Also volunteered with the SotM Working Group in 2020(Scholarships sub-committee), the HOTOSM Working Group in 2020 and 2022, and MozFest in 2023. Additionally has experience organizing and hosting tech conferences in the region: African Women In Tech(AWIT) conferences in Kenya, Uganda, Mozambique and Nigeria from 2018 - 2021; Nairobi Ideation Lab in 2019 and the first TechFugees Hackathon in Africa in 2019.

Contact email address



Reservation with a venue operator?

Our proposed venue is 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 ICT services.

At which date is the venue available?

The venue is available at any preferred date but can only be confirmed after making a reservation. We are proposing to host the conference in September when the long rain season is over in Nairobi and the weather is good.

What is the capacity of the venue (how many visitors allowed at the venue)?

The venue can host up 500 people, and has different breakout rooms available for use.

Size of auditoriums

  • Manu Chandaria Auditorium, capacity 500
  • Taifa Hall, capacity 600

Size of foyer

  • Capacity of up to 500

Are there spaces for breakout sessions?

  • Break out room 1 - 100
  • Break out room 2 - 90
  • Break out room 3 - 139

Is there wheelchair access?

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

Add photos of the venues and the rooms if possible


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


What are the options for catering?

Some venues require you to use their dedicated catering service, whilst others allow catering to be provided by a different company. Beware, some venues even charge a fee if you use catering providers outside of their approved list! This is often known as a "corkage fee" and is something you should ask the venue about. At this stage we are only interested in restrictions on catering and rough cost estimates. Unless the venue requires you to use their catering provided, you do not need to have decided on the catering provider at this stage. You may wish to obtain a few quotes to ensure you are getting value for money.

The venue requires the conference to use their dedicated catering services which includes mid morning tea/coffee, lunch and afternoon tea/coffee. They also offer a conference package that combines catering and rooms which cost at Kshs.4000 per person per day.


What infrastructure does the place have?

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.

What about 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.


What travel infrastructure does it provide?

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.

What kind of visa restrictions are there?

Visa regulations to travel to Kenya states 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.

Other special features of the venue

Are there any other special features of the venue that we should consider?


We are requesting OSM communities, members and organizations who would be interested in seeing SotM in Nairobi to endorse our bid below!

Instructions for Endorsement

- Log in to the wiki if you are not already logged in.
- Scroll down to Endorsements and click 'Edit source'. 
- Add your reason for the endorsement followed by four tilde signs --~~~~ 
Note: The ~~~~ automatically inserts your name and the current date.

Below is an example an endorsement.

  • I fully endorse this bid - I've heard good things about Nairobi and OSM Kenya :-) --Laura Mugeha (talk) 23:26, 24 May 2023 (UTC)
  • I strongly endorse & support Kenya's bid to host the SotM 2024. Kenya has all it takes to anchor SotM 2024 the conference.--- Dannyoung (talk)Dannyoung) 5 June 2023

Community endorsements

  • I and the Unique Mappers Network OSM Nigeria strongly endorse Kenya's bid to host Global SotM 2024. The bid is an excellent one with capacity to anchor SotM successful hosting in Africa. Let's go for Kenya !! Vicksun (talk) 21:56, 31 May 2023 (UTC)
  • I strongly endorse Kenya's bid to host the global SotM. It will be great to see SotM hosted in Africa for the very first team, Nairobi will make a great venue for the conference, the OSM Kenya team is really vibrant and active, who will make great hosts for the conference. Kateregga1 (talk) 08:19, 25 May 2023 (UTC)
  • I endorse this bid fully because Kenya seems to be an interesting place. It is home to Africa’s second-highest mountain. And its location as it is coast line to Indian Ocean and so have beaches. [(Tshedy)]
  • I fully endorse this bid as it will be the first time the global SotM event will hosted in Africa. OSM Kenya is very dedicated to its work and I think they handle this one with great care and make it a memorable event. Let us all meet in Nairobi to enjoy a great hospitality of the Kenyan people and visit the Masai Maara to witness the great wilderbeest migration.[(nuts2001)]~~~~
  • I strongly endorse this bid to host SotM 2024 in Kenya because the country has a strong, active, and enthusiastic local OSM community that would be fit to locally organize and host the event. Apart from that, Kenya is well connected through its wide range of international flights to and from Kenya which would make it easier for people across the world to attend the conference. Innocent maholi (talk) 13:26, 25 May 2023 (UTC)
  • I fully endorsement this proposal as Kenya is a vibrant growing OSM Community Kiggudde (talk) 07:25, 26 May 2023 (UTC)
  • I strongly endorse Kenya's proposal to host the SoTM 2024. Kenya is hub of international organizations and businesses utilizing geospatial data and openstreetmap for their core activities. Kenya also has direct flights to and fro the world's major cities. Mbabani Klain (talk) 07:32, 26 May 2023 (UTC)
  • Kenya has emerged as technology hub in Africa, fostering a thriving tech ecosystem that embraces innovation and digital transformation. The country's advancements in mobile technology and internet penetration have enabled the widespread adoption of mapping tools, making it an ideal environment for hosting a cutting -edge event like SoTM.Farydh (talk) 08:19, 26 May 2023 (UTC)
  • I strongly endorse Kenya's bid to host next year's State of the Map Conference, they have a vibrant OSM Community, and have the necessary logistics in terms of infrastructure to make this a great event. It would also mean a lot to have this event on the African continent, helping to further foster efforts in promotion of creation and use of Open geospatial data. --Hills95 (talk) 08:26, 26 May 2023 (UTC)
  • I endorse Kenya’s bid to host SotM 2024 because Kenya is one of the fastest growing countries in Africa and it has a vibrant growing OSM community. And also it will be great for SOTM to be hosted in Africa —-Haddielubanga (talk) 09:27, 26 May 2023 (UTC)
  • I strongly endorse Kenya's bid to host 2024 SoTM. This will be agreat opportunity for Mappers to attend SoTM physical in Kenya Awania Morish (talk) 09:51, 26 May 2023 (UTC)
  • Kenya is ranked one of the highest tech countries in Africa and is capable of hosting StoM 2024 event, therefore I fully endorse itJemimah Mukisa (talk) 10:01, 26 May 2023 (UTC)
  • I endorse Kenya to host State of the Map 2024 because it gives a chance to a lot of communities to attend physically. --ODonitar (talk) 10:21, 26 May 2023 (UTC)
  • I wholeheartedly support Kenya's aspiration to host the international SotM. It will be wonderful to see SotM held in Africa. Nairobi will be a fantastic location for the conference, and the OSM Kenya, who are very active and dynamic, will make fantastic hosts.--Micheal Kaluba (talk) Micheal Kaluba (talk) 10:46, 26 May 2023 (UTC)
  • I endorse Kenya to host the State of the Map 2024 because it is a favorable location for most of us. --Nsubuga Samuel (talk) 11:00, 26 May 2023 (UTC)
  • I wholeheartedly endorse Kenya to host State of the Map 2024 because it is one of the highly growing countries in Africa with OSM.This will be of great importance to so many Africans not only Kenyans but also other Africans who will get to attend physically so as to trap exposure and wider opportunities Sheillahgoodz (talk) 11:15, 26 May 2023 (UTC)
  • With my pleasure I like to endorse kenya to host state of the Map for next year because I admire their Osm community Kamana Espérance (talk) 11:31, 26 May 2023 (UTC)
  • I Strognly endorse Kenya's bid because of its nice landscapes, vibrant mapping community, strong infrastructure, and commitment to diversity, Kenya is poised to deliver an exceptional State of the Map event that will leave a lasting impact on the OpenStreetMap community--Waniwroth99 (talk) 12:17, 26 May 2023 (UTC)
  • I endorse Kenya hosting State of the Map 2024 because it allows many communities to participate physically.Mercy14846 (talk) 18:00, 27 May 2023 (UTC)
  • I fully endorse Kenya's bid to host the global SotM 2024 for its longstanding and growing OSM community, for its highly dynamic team of contributors who stood up for putting up this bid, for Kenya's visa policy which should allow anyone willing to obtain the right to enter the country relatively easily and for eventually hosting physically a global SotM in Africa.--Claire Halleux (talk) 07:02, 31 May 2023 (UTC)