In this letter I will share my ambitions and I would like to encourage to report any error or omission and suggested addition. My name is Adriaan Brouwer, I am a 21 year old Human Geography student at the University of Amsterdam. I have finished multiple GIS-courses, and therefore have “know-how” of- and experience with the program. Thus spent a lot of time, working with the program. A simple interest became a passion, therefore I have decided to follow a GIS-master specialization.
Next year I will study abroad for 6 months in the capital of Ghana, Accra. I believe this city and the whole Western-African region has a great potential for economic growth forecast and I am convinced geographical information can be a great asset for the policy makers and the numerous start-up and investment companies. Therefore, my dream is to be of a great value and to make a contribution to the positive development in this region for as well the internal as external stakeholders. I believe GIS can be a significant tool to combine globalization and national development and give the region a change to develop in their “own way”, instead of following western development-programs.
I have been travelling back and over this region before (Nouakchott, Mauritania – Dakar, Senegal – Accra, Ghana) and I came to the conclusion that these cities have a lot of particular things in common. The economic landscape in the cities is very vibrant. New businesses are booming and the economic climate is developing rapidly. Sadly, due to inefficiency, and missing knowledge businesses are losing a lot profit and missing opportunities. GIS is a tool to gain better insights to take advantage of the opportunities.
But, and it’s a huge but, there is no structure. Businesses lose a lot of profit because of inefficient logistic systems or a lack of access to necessary resources (e.g keeping their unsold fish fresh). Thus, there is still a lot to be done, as I mentioned before: GIS could help.
I would like to propose both universities my research plan and elaborate how this will contribute to Accra’s development. To do so I would love to hear as much as possible ideas to have a more creative and innovative view on the subject.
My initial plan was to discover economic clusters and process this data into GIS (geographical where business profit from each other in: transport, customers, knowledge, labour and resources) and process this data into GIS.
For example using a GPS device to locate different cacao producers, chocolate manufacturers and stores in a region. Once you’ve collected this data you could process them in GIS and analyze the data in different ways. For example whether the chocolate manufacturers cluster or not? What the distances are from cacao plants to manufacturers? Etc. etc.
I was wondering if you could share your opinion about the initial plan? Any suggestions or feedback are more than welcome.