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Forum calls for adoption of geospatial tech

Nairobi, Kenya: The second day of the 6th Africa Geospatial Forum, being held in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, offered the participants a chance to discover various advancements happening in the field of geospatial technology and its application in Africa to address vital issues such as climate change, land administration and economic development.
Some of the highlights of the day included the senior executive seminar, the seminar on geospatial for socio-economic development, climate change and disaster management and the use of geospatial for land administration.
Senior Executive SeminarThe senior executive seminar brought together notable figures in the field of geospatial technology on a common platform to discuss the usage and growth of the technology in the region. 
The presentation by the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) gave an overview of the extensive work being done by the organisation in promoting the use of geospatial technology amongst its member nations. The presentation also delved into the nuances of GIS and its role in addressing several key issues such as land degradation assessment, forest fires monitoring, water quality assessment, health services availability mapping and famine warning.
Another presentation on emerging geospatial technologies and their applications for mining by Norman Banks from the Southern Mapping Company proved to be an extremely valuable source of information that showed the use of remote sensing in mining and other related applications through the use of satellite sensors and airborne sensors. Mining is an extremely vital activity for the African economy and the presentation aptly displayed how geospatial technology can be used to track the entire mining lifecycle and thus ensure increased production and safety.
Geospatial for Socio Economic DevelopmentThe session on geospatial for socio economic development offered an in-depth look into how geospatial technology can be used for the overall development of a country. The discussions in the session were centred around the topics of using geospatial technology for agricultural monitoring and food security, the use of technology in achieving development goals by concentrating on activities designed to improve the lives of people and developing social indicators using GIS mapping.
The presentation on Applied GIS in Spatial Governance by Dev Biswas from AGM-International Business showed the need for building a people’s GIS to promote development by citing examples of how the technology was used in other developing nations and thus applied in various fields such as agriculture, health and transport.
Climate Change and Disaster ManagementThe continent of Africa is prone to various natural disasters and millions of dollars are spent each year in disaster relief efforts. The session on geospatial for climate change and disaster management was an attempt to highlight various methods and techniques that can be effectively applied to mitigate the effects of climate change and offer effective disaster relief.
The presentation on flooding preparedness cited the example of Somalia where the flood prone areas around the Juba and Shabelle rivers got a huge reprieve by using geospatial technology for river level monitoring and early warning systems.
Another presentation by Daniel Wepukhulu from the Kenya Meteorological Department summarized the impact of climate change on the region and how it has posed a big threat for the country as it attempts to achieve its Vision 2030 goal. The presentation effectively highlighted the need for embracing geospatial technology to ensure effective economic, social and political planning.
Geospatial and Land AdministrationLand administration is an extremely important topic for most African nations and the session tried to look into some of the major challenges facing land management in the region and their possible solutions. 
A presentation on geospatial to resolve land conflicts and divisions by Athuman Msuya from the National Bureau of Statistics in Tanzania showed how the movement of pastoralists results in conflicts among various African tribes and how geospatial technology can assist in avoiding those conflicts by proper allocation of natural resources.
Source: Our Correspondent