Addis Ababa: The combined AfricaGIS 2013 and GSDI World Conference came to an end in the capital city of Ethiopia with the message that African nations must adopt a collaborative approach to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing the continent. Most experts present at the conference felt that while there was no dearth of latest technologies, there was a critical lack of data exchange and knowledge sharing that is holding the African nations back.
Speaking at the closing ceremony, Sives Govender, Executive Director, EIS-Africa said that the AfricaGIS conference had been extremely successful in its endeavour to highlight the extensive usage of geospatial technology in Africa. Denise McKenzie from the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) said that the conference highlighted several important issues such as the key to ensuring overall growth and development is the sharing of data and knowledge; the need to build collective intelligence; our world is faced with numerous challenges and we must act before it is too late and we should aim to work together in new ways.
Several sessions on key issues were held earlier in the day. The session on ‘Education Innovations’ brought forth the importance of geospatial capacity building in order to ensure up-to-date application and fully realise the growing possibilities geospatial technologies offer. It also highlighted the importance of spatial thinking, especially in the field of natural resource management in Africa. The session on ‘Forest Assessment’ saw presentations by several African countries that highlighted the importance of forest cover mapping and ensure sustainable development.
Some of the other sessions held during the day included capacity building, change assessment, vulnerability assessment, collaborative approaches etc.
The conference was extremely successful in bringing forth the latest advancements taking place in the field of geospatial technology in Africa. The conference saw the participation of over 500 delegates from more than 50 countries around the globe. There were more than 20 keynote speakers and over 120 papers presented during the 5 days of the conference.
Source: Our Correspondent