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Ghana Geospatial Forum 2014 kicks off

Accra: The first edition of the Ghana Geospatial Forum kicked off on March 25 with experts from various walks of life calling for the enhanced use of geospatial technology for the overall growth and development of the country. With its theme as ‘Envisioning Spatially Enabled Ghana’ the two-day event will focus on charting out the future course of action for the effective use of these technologies in providing better citizen services and improved operations of various departments in Ghana.

Addressing the gathering in his opening remarks, Prof. Bruce Banoeng-Yakubo, Chief Director, Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, Ghana described how the Ministry has been using geospatial technology widely in its functioning and how it has been instrumental in resolving a lot of issues and challenges related to land management in the country.

Dr. Sylvester Anamana, Chief Director, Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology, in his speech, emphasised that Ghana has always been receptive towards the use and adaptation of modern technologies and that the Ministry has been actively involved in the propagation of these technologies in the country.

In his presentation titled ‘Real Estate Market Development in Ghana and the role of the Lands Commission’ during the plenary session on ‘Public-Private Partnership: The Road to Prosperity’, Dr Wilfred K. Anim-Odame, Acting Executive Secretary, Lands Commission, highlighted the relevance of public-private partnership in the overall process of transforming the real estate market in Ghana. It called for a collaborative effort of the government, traditional authorities, landowning groups, investors, state institutions and the general public in supporting the agenda of building a sustainable land administration system in Ghana.

Anthony Amuzu, Head, Survey Organization and Census Directorate, Ghana Statistical Services, in his presentation titled ‘Benefits of Migrating from Traditional Maps to Digital Maps using Geospatial Systems’ showcased the benefits of the Ghana Enumeration Area Information System (GEA-Info) and how various institutions can use information from the GEA-Info for effective planning.

William Marbell, Capture Manager Africa, Trimble Export Limited, in his presentation titled ‘Bridging Africa’s Infrastructure Gap by Leveraging Innovative Geospatial Technologies’ cited the lack of basic infrastructure as a major constraint that has hampered the growth of the Africa continent over the years. The presentation also showcased the plethora of innovative geospatial technologies that have evolved in recent times and how it can be leveraged via public private partnerships’ (PPP) to deliver the critical infrastructure required across industries in Africa to support sustainable economic growth.

Maher Khoury, Senior Director – Regional Sales, DigitalGlobe International, gave a presentation titled The African Time Machine – Information on the past, present and Future, which demonstrated how decision makers within Africa can leverage the world’s largest high resolution archive of Africa and extract features from the ground to help make better faster and better decisions.