About Us

Our Mission

Our passion and focus is to inspire and support small farming in Africa, as this activity provides the most employment and is the best option for food security and peace on that continent. The betterment of African farming also has implications for transboundary migration.

We therefore make maps and visuals about small African farming that can support international donors, development NGOs and government agencies, to enable them to know and see more effectively, where to make use of their finite energies.

MapAid has a rich history of mapping various other human development activities, which eventually led us to discover and then choose today’s focus.

The introduction of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015 has provided a framework in which to organise our projects and our resources, and our volunteers work hard to create innovative solutions to a broad range of problems, with mapping at the core.

Our Causes

Panorama, Simien Mountains, Ethiopia


SDGs: 1,2,5,6,8,12,13,17

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SDGs: 1,2,8,12,13,17

About Us

Global MapAid or simply “MapAid” is a social enterprise, a UK and US registered not-for-profit, working in Africa with local and international organisations, to help them improve the lives of small farmers.

Today, one particular are of focus is water for small farm irrigation. We collaborate with other partners to create mapping systems that can improve decisions for where water may be found, and stored, and used. Small farmers, who often have less than half a hectare can literally double or triple their food supply when irrigation water is taken care of with a shallow well, that is placed where water can be found – as a result of effective investigation and mapping.

The origins of MapAid were in identifying and mapping local solutions across the world, to help prevent disasters. Our maps benefit policymakers, donors, non-government organisations, and corporate social responsibility organisations, by focusing efforts where most needed. Additionally, some of our maps are designed for use by vulnerable people.

We were founded at Stanford University in 2003, and are registered in the USA and the UK with a relatively large group of unpaid volunteers and associates across the world. Our erstwhile Patron was Desmond Tutu.


Want to become a volunteer?

Click here to find out more.

At present, we are working in Ethiopia and Malawi. Climate change, the war in Ukraine, and the Covid pandemic have all conspired to make life more difficult for the whole world, but especially small farmers in Africa, whose food supply depends on increasingly erratic rainfall on their small farms.

“The maps would certainly be an important incentive for donors knowing precisely where the needs are and where to direct their assistance. I like the idea that you try and use locally based teams whenever possible. For what it is worth, you could count me in as an enthusiastic Patron and supporter of this splendid tool and the Global MapAid team that are making it happen.”

Desmond Tutu

Global MapAid Patron Emeritus

Act local. Think global.