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IGN France International seminar to raise SDI awareness

Paris, France: IGN France International and the French IGN (National Institute of Geographic and Forest Information), in cooperation with the Economic Commission for Africa, the Geographic Institute of Burkina Faso (IGB) and Esri, will organise a regional seminar on April 3, 2012 in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso). The seminar aims to promote the sharing of experiences gathered from the implementation of SDI projects in Europe and Africa.

The theme of the seminar will be: “National spatial data infrastructures: what is their added value for emerging countries?” Speeches and presentations from financing organisations and institutional representatives will be featured among the exchanges.

This seminar will take place during a time when numerous African countries are beginning to think about or are even undertaking the implementation of national spatial data infrastructure projects as they are becoming more aware of the fact that geomatics are a key factor to economic and social development. Although eager to carry these projects out, most countries face difficulties in the mobilisation of the necessary financial, technical or human resources. The proactive role that high-level politicians must play or even the level of reluctance that is sometimes encountered are difficulties that are often underestimated.

Organised around 5 round table discussions, this event will provide the African policymakers that are present with a large array of parameters (technical, financial, human, organisational…) that should be taken into consideration so that the efforts that are undertaken contribute to the success of these projects.

Based on the sharing of experiences, this seminar has the following objectives:
– To showcase the experience of different African countries that have a voluntary approach and to give them the opportunity to present their thoughts, the difficulties that they encountered, and to speak about their progress. Testimonials from African countries such as the Ivory Coast, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Nigeria and Gabon will add to the exchanges.
– To review the different steps and phases that distinguish these ambitious projects, from their conception to their implementation. IGN France International will illustrate its presentation with current or recently completed case studies in Serbia and Gabon.
– To put the efforts and difficulties that Europe was confronted with in the conception, formulation and implementation of the European Inspire directive into perspective. To be able to measure, after several years’ time, the return on investment for these types of projects.

In addition to the numerous Burkinabe decision-makers that will be present, representatives from several African countries such as Algeria, Benin, Burundi, Cameroon, the Dominican Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Togo, Guinea and Uganda have already confirmed their participation.

Source: IGNFI