Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: In a seven point declaration issued at the end of five day conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the African Association of Remote Sensing of the Environment (AARSE) stressed that coordination is vital to ensure benefits of space science and technology at regional level.
AARSE urges attendees from 40 countries to give their full support to the declaration. AARSE Addis Ababa Declaration calls on African Governments and the Africa Union:
– To ensure that the benefits of space science and technology in regional initiatives are realised; towards this aims, there is an urgent need for a coordination office on space affairs at the level of the Africa Union Commission (AUC) that consists of representatives of all space agencies, regional organizations, such as AARSE and EIS-Africa, and other African stakeholders.
– To support the space coordination office to represent Africa’s space science and technology capability in relation to existing and future international programmes and partnerships and to develop the African space policy and programmes for the eventual establishment of an Africa Space Agency.
– To engage actively at all levels of GEO activities and promote GEOSS Data Sharing Principles as outlined in the Data Sharing Action Plan and to recognise the launch of and contribute to the operational GEOSS Common Infrastructure (GCI) with its dedicated GEO Web Portal and Clearinghouse.
– To strengthen and harmonise human resource development and institutional capacity in the fields of Earth Obseration and Geoinformation Sciences by supporting organisations such as AARSE and EIS-Africa, as well as existing and new regional training programmes at tertiary institutions, in partnership with UN Agencies, notably UN Secretariat, UNECA, UNESCO, UNEP, UNOOSA, FAO, UNDP, UNU, etc.
– To recognise specialised institutions in Geoinformation and Earth Observation, notably the Regional Centre for Training in Aerospace Surveys (RECTAS), the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD), the UNOOSA Regional Centers in Africa and national institutions of higher learning as primary vehicles for capacity development in space science and technology development and applications in Africa.
– To support the development of a dedicated African Earth Observation Satellite and the African Resource Management Constellation to serve the sustainable development needs of Africa.
– To inspire Africa’s Youth through space based education and outreach programmes.
Declaration also announced that 9th Conference of the African Association of Remote Sensing of the Environment (AARSE 2012) will take place the last week of October 2012 in Morocco.