Esri's 100 African Universities Program

Esri’s 100 African Universities program has quietly been providing software and learning resources to universities and colleges across the continent. The program is about halfway to the symbolic goal of 100 universities. (One of its notable successes has been Kenyatta University. See the accompanying article, “Kenyatta University Quickly Becomes a Center of GIS Excellence in Eastern Africa.”)

Who can apply?

Any African university with a desire to implement GIS at the enterprise or university-wide level can apply. University-wide means more than just a GIS laboratory. It means that ArcGIS is used not only in multiple departments but also in libraries and public spaces where all students and researchers can access the software. The IT department must be involved as well to provide needed technical support for servers and online resources. High-level administration support is also critical becase enterprise GIS serves its needs as well.

How to apply?

A qualifying university can apply simply by contacting the local Esri office and expressing an interest in joining. That office will work with the Esri Education Outreach team to formalize the application process. The program creates long-term relationships and support structures that can help guarantee the successful use of GIS for teaching, research, and administrative uses across the university.