CAD Mapping aerial surveyors is a majority black-owned aerial surveying solutions company offering premium digital mapping solutions.
It was established in 1990 to leverage the fast-moving technology developments in the aerial surveying industry.
By 2009 it was obvious that the available technology was far from ‘as advertised’ and a proprietary flight planning and management solution and ‘fit-for-purpose’ UAVs were developed in-house.
BizNis Africa Founder and Managing Director conducted an exclusive interview with Keneuoe Maliehe, CAD Mapping Aerial Surveyors Director to find out about her career and lifestyle.
What are the latest aerial surveying trends across Africa?
- The role of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles and artificial intelligence in precision agriculture
- The biggest buzz word is drones with their increasing popularity in construction monitoring
- What kind of skills are required for one to thrive in your chosen career path?
A surveying, geography, geo-informatics or similar degree is the first prerequisite in understanding the fundamentals of positioning and geospatial data. But graduating from university is not enough as we find that graduates join the work force with very little grasp of these fundamentals. This is why at CAD Mapping we have a graduate/internship programme where we equip geospatial sciences graduates with the necessary skills and improve their technical competencies.
- How do you feel being regarded as one of the leading black female Directors in a male dominated ICT sector?
I feel fortunate to have the encouragement and complete support from my male counterparts at CAD Mapping as there are challenges to being female in any male dominated sector that one can never underestimate. And all genders have to continue to be vigilant and completely intolerant towards any entrenched patriarchy, chauvinism and sexism.
- How should Africa’s technology sector prepare for the Fourth Industrial revolution?
It is an exciting time for the industry, and we have to keep adapting rapidly if we are to stay relevant and remain valuable in our respective fields within the technology sector. We need to constantly stay abreast of technological advances and understand our changing business environment, challenge the assumptions of our operating teams and relentlessly and continuously innovate. In its most pessimistic, dehumanized form, the fourth industrial revolution may have the potential to turn humanity into robots and deprive us of our heart and soul. But as a complement to the best parts of who we are, it can also lift humanity into a new collective and moral consciousness based on a shared sense of destiny. It is a responsibility on all of us to make sure the latter prevails. Africa needs to shape a future that works for all of its people by putting humanity first and empowering them.
- Why did you pursue a career in Geo-informatics?
Interest in geography and a natural inclination to mathematics, then the popularity of information technology in the 2000s led me to study geography and computer science as elective during my bachelor studies. Not long after that I refocused to geo-informatics in my honours because of its accreditation by the South African Geomatics Council.
- Why do you believe young women in Africa should pursue technology based careers?
I believe women should pursue careers in any sector, including technology if they wish. Unlike before, there are now women before us who have walked the road who we can look up to and can serve as mentors and role models. There is no reason to fear anymore as there is evidence that it is possible if one does the work.
- What is your definition of leadership in Africa?
My definition of leadership is the exercise of one’s influence in such as a way that the shared objectives of the whole are met, it is looking out for the interests of those who cannot protect themselves and speak up for themselves. In Africa it is developing the youth and sharing with them the secrets of our “success”, mentoring and sharing our knowledge base with them so that we guide and mould them into leaders themselves tomorrow.
- What is the role of artificial intelligence (AI) for millennial workers?
AI has led to the creation of new job opportunities for millennials. The general consensus has been that AI will take over jobs but instead I see AI freeing up millennials to do more meaningful things as routine and mundane tasks are automated giving them more time to focus on creative and valued work.
- What is your next career move?
For now I am focusing on expanding my knowledge base and perfecting my technical skill base, looking at topics like advances in aerial imaging technology, automatic detection of features from imagery using AI and improving the quality of 3D city modelling. I am looking at completing my masters in geoinformatics soon.
- Who is your mentor and what key business lessons did you learn from them?
I don’t have one mentor but I have looked up to several entrepreneurs, including my late grandmother, during my career who have helped to shape my growth and general outlook on life. Key lessons, as cliched as they may sound, have been to stay positive no matter how gloomy any situation may seem and that hard work pays off.