Addis Ababa: The Deputy Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) made a call for Africa to fully harness the opportunities found in spatially-enabled information to build on its remarkable achievements. Speaking at the Global Geospatial Conference 2013 that opened in Addis Ababa this week on the theme: Spatial Enablement in Support of Economic Development and Poverty Reduction, Abdalla Hamdok said there should be no excuses for not using appropriate geoinformation for policy making, planning, development due to expense or the time it takes.
“With the development in space and digital technologies in the past two decades, the time for making spatially-enabled information and maps available for development and management purposes has been greatly reduced,” he said.
He told the global gathering that the geospatial technology industry is an emerging sector of the African economy that is expected to see tremendous growth in the coming years. In an example of the economic value of geospatial applications and services, he said that in 2011, India recorded a boost in revenues to business from geoservices in the range of US$40 to 45 billion with an estimated US$ 70-75 billion cost saving accrued by businesses. “It can also be a very lucrative one,” he said.