GIS in Africa

Hello I have just joined the group, and I am looking forward to discussions and exchange of ideas. I am working in Kenya on Bio-Monitoring Projects, and use GIS systems mainly to track my collection points and put them in a geographical and geological context. Not exactly a detailed analyses but it helps. One experience I make is that there are many shp and other information available, but down at the scale what I would need, they are usually to coarse... Hm. What to do about that? In the end I turn to google to get at least some aerial pictures. Is that a common experience, also in other parts of the world? Best Fabian