President of PLATO

Paul Marshall

Dear Delegate,

Three years on and we are now only hours away from the second AfricaGEO conference. After the first AfricaGEO conference in 2011 there was a fairly robust debate as to whether to stage this conference every two or four years – the outcome being a compromise and three years is was. Whatever the time span it was too long for the organisers, the undeniable success for the 2011 AfricaGEO conference simply had them all champing at the bit to do it all again. Rumour is they even looked at the insane possibility of holding AfricaGEO as an annual event. The enthusiasm of Aslam Parker and his team makes them unstoppable.

If you attended the 2011 conference then you will remember all the positive aspects of that conference. There was the structuring of the parallel sessions so delegates could move freely from one session to another without leaving or arriving in the middle of a paper presentation. Can one possibly forget the enthusiasm and helpfulness of the registration staff, the organising committee and all those extra volunteers? The quality of the papers and the presenters, the mantra being that quality was more important than quantity. What about the abundance of catering stations so we didn’t have to stand for hours in mindless queues for a cup of coffee, the magnificent venue with its abundant parking.And then of course there was Cape Town with all it has to offer. There were so many aspects that simply worked to make AfricaGEO 2011 a benchmark conferencefor South African Geomatics conferences. So far this year’s conferenceappears to be no different – all the ingredients that worked last time are already in place, all that remains is for you the delegates to play your part and participate.

Don’t see this conference simply as a means to earn CPD credits;it is so much more than that. It is a unique opportunity to expand your knowledge by doing little more than listening to the experts dispense theirs. It is an opportunity for you to catch up with your friends and colleagues. You can exchange ideas and learn from the experiences of other practitioners, even link up with potentially beneficial associates in the profession or at the very least make some new friends. Where else would you get a chance to attend an exhibition of the AfricaGEO calibre and hands on appraise and compare the most modern equipment from across the industry all in one venue? – CPD credits are just a bonus!

Enjoy the conference,

Paul Marshall
PLATO President