UN-GGIM: Africa: SDGs demand new data acquisition and integration approaches

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, October 01, 2018 (ECA) - The Fourth Session of the Regional Committee on the United Nations Global Geospatial Information Management for Africa (UN-GGIM: Africa) opened Monday with participants discussing sustainable development goals’ demands for new data acquisition and integration approaches to improve the availability, quality, timeliness and disaggregation of data.

Economic Commission for Africa’s Andre Nonguierma of the African Centre for Statistics (ACS) said geospatial information management was increasingly contributing to build the data foundation that is required and thus, creating understanding and solving problems facing the continent.

Presentations were made by partners and industry providers of Earth Observation data that demonstrated the visible benefits that can be accomplished through the adoption and sound application of GIS, Remote Sensing and other geospatial solutions, tools and techniques in the creation, analysis and presentation of the foundational data required for the SDGs.

The presentations informed participants on how African nations can leverage revolutionary new cloud-based imagery solutions to address statistical challenges, develop smart spatially-enabled census and improve the reporting on SDG in Africa.

DigitalGlobe’s Alex Fortescue said the new cloud based imagery solutions can play a major role in addressing Africa’s major challenges, in particular ensuring the SDGs are successfully implemented for the full benefit on the continent’s citizens.

“There’s a lot that we can do with imagery that is very accessible to our end users as they make crucial decisions on the continent’s development be it planning a census, disaster management or emergency planning, food security or mining. We can help solve our continent’s major challenges,” he said.

Tamy Wild of Deimos Imaging emphasized the need for partnerships for Africa to achieve the SDGs.

“We can find solutions if we sit and work together as we harness Earth Observation for a better tomorrow by boosting sustainable development; monitoring and managing our natural resources,” she said.

The UN-GGIM will this week look at policies, measures and steps that African countries can take to ensure a successful implementation of the UN-GGIM initiative in the region; share knowledge and best practices on the development of geospatial information in the continent; and raise awareness on the benefits to be derived through the utilization of geospatial information for sustainable development.

At the end of the meeting, delegates hope they would have managed to consolidate the consensus and drive the political will in leveraging the enabling capabilities of geospatial information technology to meet the African development agenda and in support of the emerging global challenges.

They also hope to foster the integration of geospatial and statistical information.

UN-GGIM is a formal intergovernmental mechanism to discuss, enhance and coordinate geospatial information activities on a global level by involving Member States of the United Nations. UN GGIM:Africa was set up to address the issues of developing the capacities of African nations in the generation and dissemination of authoritative, accurate and sustained geospatial information in the continent.

It plays a leading role in making joint decisions and setting directions on the use of geospatial information within national, regional and global policy frameworks. It also works with governments to improve policy, institutional arrangements and legal frameworks, addressing global issues, contributing to the collective knowledge as a community with shared interests and concerns.

UN GGIM:Africa facilitates and advocates the availability and capability of geospatial information as well as proposes work-plans and guidelines to promote awareness of how geospatial information can contribute, common principles, policies, methods, mechanisms and standards for geospatial information interoperability.

It also works to develop effective geospatial capacity in African countries and promotes the use of that information to meet key global challenges such as sustainable development.

Participants include members of the Executive Bureau of UN-GGIM: Africa, national officials in mapping, cartography, surveying, statistics; high-level experts selected from academia, research institutions, government, and the private sector, and representatives from sub-regional and regional organizations.

The meeting is being held under the theme; Linking people to place: Statistical Geospatial Integration in support of the 2020 Round of Population and Housing Censuses and the Sustainable Development Agenda.


Issued by:

Communications Section
Economic Commission for Africa
PO Box 3001
Addis Ababa
Tel: +251 11 551 5826
E-mail: eca-info@un.org