Patrick Chitumba, Midland Bureau Chief
MIDLANDS State University (MSU) Surveying and Geomatics fourth-year student clinched a Private Sector Youth Inclusive award in the Outstanding Services and Achievements category at the Fourth African Youth Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The summit was held from March 9-11 under the theme: “Youth Resilience in Covid-19 era; Pathways to accelerate actions towards achieving SDGs.”
The awards appreciated efforts of young men and women involved in initiatives and projects that promote SDGs and youth inclusiveness in Africa during the Covid-19 pandemic era.
Mr Kumbirai Matingo (23) is the founder and leader of a team of recent graduates and current students in the field of surveying and geomatics.
He founded African Surveyors Connect (ASC), an organisation that spearheads initiatives that promote SDGs in Africa under the Covid-19 Hub for Zimbabwe Initiative.
The African Youth SDGs Summit is Africa’s largest forum on SDGs.
Launched in 2017, the summit has evolved to bring together a multi-sector coalition of youth, development experts, government and UN entities, NGOs, and the private sector to create “the Africa we want”.
Some of the calls to action delivered during the three-day summit were the action required to tackle the issues related to climate change in community settings by the youth like Mr Matingo.
Youths were encouraged to leverage climate action as an investment opportunity.
“As part of the process to attend this event, I was privileged to have been given a special invitation to attend this event as a nominee in the private sector youth inclusiveness track which seeks to recognise outstanding services and achievements that exemplify and support the SDGs at country level throughout the year and was under the SDGs achievers awards.
“Through the Covid-19 Hub for Zimbabwe initiative which has been widely adopted by the Zimbabwean community including some Government and private organisations during this Covid-19 pandemic and has also promoted youth innovation and resilience during this period, we scooped the first-place award on this track,” said an elated Mr Matingo.
He said the Covid-19 Hub for Zimbabwe houses location-based, informative, raw data and analytical resources that help the citizens, decision-makers, and persons in the technical fields to fight against this deadly virus which has claimed more lives over the past year.
“Citizens can also easily find resources using location intelligent applications contained within the hub (vaccine finders and Covid-19 testing centres).
The solutions include dashboards, raw datasets, and visual informative tools for the republic of Zimbabwe. Covid-19 Hub for Zimbabwe can be accessed on: https://covid19.africansurveyors.net/,” said Mr Matingo.
He said what started back in the early days of Covid-19 as a platform for performing surveying calculations turned out to be a powerhouse for youth and young surveyors across the African continent.
The ASC, Mr Matingo said, is a communication organisation that seeks and aims to empower the African youth in the Geospatial professions through community-based skill-building and capacity development through technology.
“All this is done voluntarily by a team of dedicated individuals that spare and sacrifice their skills in contributing their skills and knowledge towards the profession for the young generation.
“Comprising of both graduates and students, ASC carries out different initiatives one of the major and popular ones being the Covid-19 Hub for Zimbabwe which has been a major SDG3 driver during this Covid-19 crisis in Zimbabwe.
Some initiatives include the Geospatial Podcast and the Spatial Times magazine all these which are centred on Youth development and capacity building for the growth of the profession.”
Mr Matingo works at Place Alert Labs a health geography research laboratory within the university as a student intern.
He also serves as the national point of contact for Zimbabwe with the Space Generation Advisory Council, which is in support of the UN applications on space programmes.
“The Private Sector Youth Inclusive award seeks to recognise outstanding services and achievements that exemplify and support the Sustainable Development Goals in Africa throughout the year by organisations and individuals.
These initiatives or projects need to and must have youth involvement for one to qualify,” said Mr Matingo.
He said he is honoured and delighted to have worked with a team at ASC which has helped him get this far.
“This award serves as motivation for us to keep going and aim high as we strive to achieve sustainability in every community in our country, Africa, and the world at large.
For MSU, I hope and trust this award will serve as motivation to my fellow colleagues, friends, and the MSU
Article Source: The Chronicle