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Digital Earth Africa pivotal to continent’s efforts to harness info resources

By , ITWeb
Africa , 20 May 2022
Oliver Chinganya, Director, Africa Centre for Statistics at the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).
Oliver Chinganya, Director, Africa Centre for Statistics at the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).

Digital and natural resource management organisation Digital Earth Africa (DE Africa) is steadfastly becoming the “connecting-the-dots” part of Africa’s efforts to harness information resources for the society and knowledge-led economy, said Oliver Chinganya, Director, Africa Centre for Statistics at the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).

Chinganya, who is also a Board Member of DE Africa, was speaking at a side event on Digital Earth Africa: Earth observations for sustainability in Africa organised by the African Centre for Statistics division of ECA, and Digital Earth Africa on the margins of the Economic Commission for Africa’s annual Conference of Ministers of Finance, Economic Planning and Development (CoM2022) in Dakar, Senegal.

Chinganya said, “The Programme has started paving a new way to build a robust data infrastructure that can help us have a better understanding of our changing landscape and provide insights that can enable African governments, NGOs, businesses, and individuals to make more informed decisions.”

Organisers have added that the objective of the side event is to showcase the development of DE Africa “as a unique information resource for sustainable development across Africa and to explain how Digital Earth Africa is being applied in areas such as national statistics, agriculture and water resources.”

Chinganya noted that ECA will continue to use its convening power to foster the dialogue with member States, African sciences and research institutions, existing networks and programmes, as well as other sectors to increase awareness in space science and technology insights for economic growth and social development.

Lisa Hall, Managing Director Digital Earth Africa Establishment Team said the goal of DE Africa is to deliver an exceptional fit-for-purpose platform of Earth observation satellite imagery into information and insights on the changing African landscape and coastline, which will open new data frontiers for tracking progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.

Hall said, “Digital Earth Africa catalogues changes across Africa in unprecedented detail and provides spatially enabled data on a vast number of issues, including soil and coastal erosion, agriculture, forest and desert development, water quality and changes to human settlements.”

Zviko Mudamu, Head of Operations, DE Africa said the organisation is helping provide the data required which was already a gap before with the various partnerships we engaged with the various governments in Africa.

“Digital Earth is empowering communities with access to satellite information; communities have been empowered and are sharing their impact stories such as conservation of mangroves in Zanzibar, roaming of giraffes at Lake Baringo in Kenya,” said Mudamu.

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