Forum highlights role of geospatial technology in Africa’s growth

Forum highlights role of geospatial technology in Africa’s growth

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Cape Town: Day two of the Africa Geospatial Forum saw experts from various walks of life discuss the use and applicability of geospatial technology across different verticals that impact our daily lives. Some of the highlights of the day included a Dialogue Forum on Geospatial Enabling Vision Programmes in Africa, a workshop on Standardisation of Geographical Names and sessions on Evolving Role of Municipalities, Geospatial Empowering Utilities, Natural Resource Management & Agriculture, Statistics and Geospatial, and Disaster Management.

Organised in association with the South African Geographic Names Council, the workshop on Standardisation of Geographical Names was conducted by Vusithemba Ndima, Deputy Director General, Department of Arts and Culture, South Africa and Advocate R K Sizani, Chairperson, South African Geographical Names Council. The workshop was aimed at forging common understanding on public participation and consultation on standardisation of geographical names.

The session on Evolving Role of Municipalities had a celebrated line up of speakers such as Morena wa Letsosa, Director, Geo-Informatics, Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality, South Africa; Kofi Yeboah, Head-GIS, Accra Metropoliton Assembly, Ghana and David H McKelly, Spatial Planning and Systems Built Environment, CSIR, South Africa. The session highlighted how the role of municipalities has evolved over the years and how various municipalities across the African continent have been using geospatial technology to carry out their activities.

The session on Geospatial Empowering Utilities was chaired by Mfundi Erasmus Songo, Senior Manager, Planning and GIS Centre of Excellence, Eskom, South Africa and included speakers like Norbert Anku, Director, Southern Network Services, Ghana Grid Company, Ghana; Adri de La Rey, GIS Manager, ESKOM, South Africa; Prevlan Chetty, GIS & Remote Sensing Processor, Southern Mapping, South Africa; Mathias Motz, Regional Sales Manager EMEA, Leica Geosystems, Switzerland and Wilhelm Herbst, Optron Technology Solutions, Optron, South Africa. The session was aimed at highlighting how various utility segments have been using geospatial technology in their functioning and the kind of benefits that they have derived out of the same. A panel discussion held towards the end discussed various challenges facing utility companies across Africa, with the industry proposing solutions for the same.

Organised in coordination with Statistics South Africa and Chaired by Ashwell Jeneker, Deputy Director General, Statistics South Africa, South Africa, the session on Statistics and Geospatial included speakers like Thapelo Maruatona, Chief Statistician, Central Statistics Office, Botswana; Kristian Andersen, Manager, Sales Engineering EMEAR, DigitalGlobe, UK; Arnaud Lezennec, Geospatial Regional Sales Manager, Trimble, Africa and Hennie Loots, Director, GeoSpace International, South Africa.

During the session on Natural Resource Management & Agriculture, speakers like Mike Wallace, Western Cape Department of Agriculture, South Africa; Oliver Zimmermann, EMEA Geospatial Technical Sales Manager, Security, Government & Infrastructure, Intergraph, Switzerland; Badr Eldin Ali Mohamed, Mierag Space Technologies Company, Sudan and Wisdom M. Dlamini, PhD Student, University of South Africa gave their presentations on how geospatial technology with their power to provide the bigger picture and monitor resources, are helping in the better use and conservation of natural resources.

Source: Our Correspondent