Addis Ababa: The second day of the combined AfricaGIS 2013 and GSDI World Conference, being held at the UNECA conference centre, witnessed the launch of the AfriGEOSS initiative. Initiated by the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), the AfriGEOSS programme aims to coordinate the implementation of GEOSS (Global Earth Observation System of Systems) and other related earth observation activities in Africa. Supported by the GEO secretariat, the AfriGEOSS initiative aims to identify the challenges facing the African continent and thus put in place measures to enhance the continent’s contribution to GEOSS activities. The new initiative will contribute to Africa’s efforts to bridge the digital divide and thus create a knowledge-based economy with the help of GEO networks and the GEOSS infrastructure.
Speaking during the launch programme of the AfriGEOSS initiative, Barbara Ryan, Director of GEO Secretariat said that Africa is facing tremendous challenges and that the need of the hour is to create tools for healthy decision making. She pointed out that the AfriGEOSS programme is designed to link GEO’s current activities with Africa’s capabilities and initiatives in order to enhance capacity for producing, managing and using earth observations.
The GEO (Group on Earth Observations) currently includes 22 member states and five participating organisations from the African continent. Although the number of member states from Africa has grown during the past few years, more needs to be done in terms of building on the progress made so far in implementing GEOSS and some of the other earth observation initiatives in Africa. The main aim of the AfriGEOSS initiative is to ensure broader participation and involvement from different countries in the continent.
Source: Our Correspondent