Africa urged to use information efficiently for successful implementation of development agendas

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 21 November 2017 (ECA) - Africa needs to use information efficiently if it is to successfully implement the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development and the African Union’s Agenda 2063, says Sultan Mohammed Alya, Director General of the Ethiopian Mapping Agency.

In opening remarks to the AfricaGIS 2017 conference that opened in Addis Ababa Tuesday, Mr. Alya said the theme of the conference; Geospatial and Statistical Information Imperatives for the Africa We Want, highlights the important and critical role information plays towards the sustainable development endeavours of the continent.

“It is my hope that we will have fruitful and productive deliberations over the next four days as this conference is expected to identify key lessons and put forward recommendations on how geospatial and statistical information would influence and affect transformation processes in our continent and in our countries,” he said.

Mr. Alya said according to estimates, more than 80 percent of all the data and information used in all forms of planning and decision-making were related to geographic space, typically involving geo-references locations or positional data generally referred to as geospatial information.

“Hence it is evident to all of us here that the availability of up to date, accurate and authoritative geospatial information is imperative for sustainable and accelerated development efforts of our rising Africa,” he said.

EIS-Africa’s Sives Govender said the key objective of the AfricaGIS conference was capacity building, networking and business development.

“Today, we are faced with many challenges, where understanding the real value of our continent’s natural resource assets, will drive how our leaders make their development planning decisions.  We need to integrate geospatial and statistical data; we need to integrate remotely sensed data with a rich in-situ sensor network and best understand Africa’s assets for Africa’s development and growth,” said Mr. Govender.

“I challenge all of you, to use your experience as Geospatial professionals to look at innovative ways to meet these socio-economic and development challenges and ultimately improve the lives all Africa’s people.”

He said this conference had brought together the world best geospatial companies, academics and professionals to Africa and “we also get to show-off the amazing talent that this continent has to offer”, adding the conference was also about learning, teaching, collaborating and sharing, but most importantly, networking and incubating future partnerships.

AU’s Tidiane Quattara, a space-science expert, said the conference is critical for Africa’s development.

“We need to always bring African professionals who are in the geospatial and statistics fields to discuss the way for Africa to get where we want to be. The political agenda is clear and we scientists have to get there too,” said Mr. Quattara.   

The conference is being attended by the world best geospatial companies, academics, representatives from member States and professionals to discuss how geospatial and statistical information are imperatives from Africa’s growth and development.

UN-GGIM: Africa, EIS-Africa, the Ethiopian Mapping Agency, AfricGEOSS, Group on Earth Observations, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the ECA organized the conference.


Issued by:

Communications Section
Economic Commission for Africa
PO Box 3001
Addis Ababa
Tel: +251 11 551 5826