State of the Map Africa 2021

2021-11-21, 13:55–14:15 (UTC), Room 1
Language: English

Our presentation will briefly introduce the Digital Transport for Africa (DT4A) project and the
project principles, the benefits one can get from the DT4A platforms, discuss the importance
of a collaborative approach in transit data collection and mapping projects to overcome the
challenges in the sector, the challenges we faced while undertaking data collection and
mapping projects and the opportunities we foresee. We will end the presentation by
announcing the DT4A innovation challenge and inviting the audience to participate in the

Lack of data on transit systems present a massive barrier for cities, transit users and operators
hoping to navigate and plan more efficient, high-quality transit. Lack of data also makes
measuring progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) impossible. SDG 11.2 calls
for “safe, affordable, accessible, and sustainable transport systems for all” and parallels other
global targets to reduce air pollution and decarbonize the transport sector. In other words, in
order to design better, safer, cleaner and more inclusive transit we need data.
In 2017, as an initial response to this challenge, partners from World Resources Institute Ross
Center for Sustainable Cities (WRI), the French Development Agency (AFD), Columbia University
and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) created DigitalTransport4Africa—a
collaborative digital commons and global network that works to scale up and support urban
mobility projects through open standardized data, open-source software and peer-to-peer
knowledge sharing. It provides support for government, tech companies and civil society actors
to map city transit networks and foster ecosystems and skills that enable cities to leverage data
for critical transport improvements.
DT4A aims to create such data to:
1) foster universal access to opportunities, with an emphasis on vulnerable groups including
women and children, people living with disabilities and those living in extreme poverty
2) improve efficiency through reliable, affordable, and quality transit services, inclusive of all
formal, semi-formal and informal transit providers
3) enhance safety to reduce traffic-related fatalities, injuries and crashes

4) to minimize the negative environmental impact of mobility, which includes Greenhouse Gas
emissions and air pollution
5) adhere to principles of Open Data and transit data standards.
Currently, the project is a consortium of 14 international and regional partners who pledge
towards open data on transit in African cities. In addition to the partners, the project works closely
with diverse network of city authorities and residents, academic institutions, private civic
technology companies and local mapping communities across the continent.

Agraw is a GIS research analyst at the WRI Africa regional office. He works to present technical experience, analysis and administrative assist to the WRI Africa Cities Program focusing on the scaling of transit mapping in African cities for improved transport planning.
Prior to joining WRI, Agraw worked as a research associate in a laboratory at the University of Seoul. Before that, He worked at the Addis Ababa Science and Technology University as an assistant lecturer. In addition to that, he has participated in various GIS, urban planning and design projects in Ethiopia.