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Perspectives on Space Technology for Africa

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Title: Perspectives on Space Technology for Africa


1
Perspectives on Space Technology for Africas
socio-economic development
  • United Nations Economic Commission for Africa
  • ICT and Sciences Technology Division (ISTD)
  • Makane Faye
  • Officer-in-charge, e_at_pplications Section

High level conference Space for the African
Citizen 16 September 2010, Brussels
2
Outline
  • Introduction
  • Space Technology Applications for
    socio-economic development
  • UNECAs support to African countries on
    exploitation of Space technology for
    socio-economic development
  • The African ICT Ministers Abuja Declaration
    Recommendations
  • The Committee on Development Information, Science
    and Technology (CODIST)
  • Challenges on Space Technology and Applications
    in Africa
  • The Way Forward

3
Introduction
  • Globalization and the emerging new global economy
    put emphasis on information as an economic asset
  • A major imperative in each African country is the
    commitment to deliver relevant information that
    could promote and sustain socio-economic
    development
  • Within its programme of Harnessing Information
    for Development, UNECA supports Member States in
    the exploitation of spatially enabled information
    technologies for decision-making at all levels
    through advisory services, capacity building and
    development of common resources and online
    repositories.

4
Space Technology Applications for
Socio-economic development
  • Geospatial technology is critical to the
    development of the Knowledge Economy and an
    equitable Information Society
  • Its importance lies on the fact that Location
    affects nearly everything we do in life and is
    also at the heart of some of the worlds most
    pressing problems
  • Need for Africa to acquire orbital locations to
    facilitate acquisition of data development of
    suitable space applications
  • Service delivery industries that depend on
    location and spatial knowledge benefit from
    reduced transaction costs, thus, leading to up
    scaling of economic activities contributing to
    socio-economic development

5
Space Technology Applications for
Socio-economic development (ctd)
Examples Examples
Food Security Land cover, soil, topography, hydrography, rainfall, demographics, infrastructure, yield, production etc.
Water Supply Hydrography, topography, aquifers, waterbodies, land cover, soil types, vegetation, rainfall, etc.
Resources Management Ecosystems, biodiversity, vegetation, land cover, soils, water, wetlands, biomass etc.
Drought Rainfall, temperature, evapo-transpiration, wind, aerosols etc.
  • All the information products exemplified would
    not be complete without the location attribute
  • They need to be localized
  • Where are the features located?
  • Where are the population involved in an activity,
    vis-à-vis location of the activity?
  • Who will benefit from an activity or event ? Or
    at risk? Where are they?
  • Where are the markets for the products? The input
    factors?
  • Where are the infrastructure elements, utilities,
    etc?
  • What areas are suitable (or unsuitable) for
    specific activities or events?
  • How do we move (people, products, services) from
    source to destination?

6
Space Technology Applications for
Socio-economic development (ctd)
Examples (ctd) Examples (ctd)
Security and Emergency Land cover, soil chemistry, topography, geology, mining, utilities, settlements, transport infrastructure, flood, etc.
Health Planning Hospitals locations, settlements and demographics, disease vectors, environmental factors distribution, etc.
E-Services for socio-economic development Telecom, market prices, demographics, e-edcuation, e-health, e-government, e-commerce, etc.
  • All the information products exemplified would
    not be complete without the location attribute
  • They need to be localized
  • Where are the features located?
  • Where are the population involved in an activity,
    vis-à-vis location of the activity?
  • Who will benefit from an activity or event ? Or
    at risk? Where are they?
  • Where are the markets for the products? The input
    factors?
  • Where are the infrastructure elements, utilities,
    etc?
  • What areas are suitable (or unsuitable) for
    specific activities or events?
  • How do we move (people, products, services) from
    source to destination?

7
More examples on use of Space Technology for for
Socio-economic development
  • Various sectors of the economy benefit
    significantly from access to Spatial
    Applications, including
  • Communications in general
  • location/mobile services
  • travel and tourism
  • National defence
  • Environmental modelling etc.
  • 370 million Africans subscribed to mobiles in
    2009
  • Most of the mobile are now embedded with spatial
    applications such as GPS and street maps
  • Web-based GIS technology is also widely used in
    Africa

8
UNECA Vision on Space Technology and Applications
  • Our Vision is to generate, share and disseminate
    knowledge
  • By ensuring that spatial data permeates every
    aspect of society and that they are available to
    people who need them, when they need them, and in
    a form that they can use them to make decisions
    with minimal pre-processing
  • By ensuring that generated information is put to
    the maximum possible uses by publicising their
    existence and making them easily available to the
    widest possible audience

9
Selected on-going activities
  • The African Regional Spatial Data Infrastructure
  • Adopt cooperative, multi-stakeholder approach to
    production, management, and dissemination of
    spatially enabled data Regional and National
    level
  • Improve regional scale development
    decision-making
  • The African Geodetic Reference Frame (AFREF)
    Project
  • A scientific project using modern satellite based
    positioning with aim to To determine a
    continental reference system for Africa and to
    establish continuous, permanent GNSS base
    stations to ensure that data is freely available
    to all African nations
  • The Mapping Africa for Africa (MAfA) Initiative
  • Based on the Durban Statement, it is a plan of
    action to provide the fundamental geo-spatial
    information for sustainable development in
    support of regional projects

10
Development of Interoperability Standards The
Common Geodetic Reference (AFREF)
  • Network of permanent GNSS base stations (CORS)
    covering the whole continent
  • At least one in every country
  • Eventually, everywhere in Africa less than 1000
    km from a base station.
  • Salient Features
  • 5 GPS CORS Stations being installed in African
    Sub regions
  • 30 GPS Reference Stations to be installed,
    depending on availability of funds
  • On-going inventory of existing and planned GNSS
    base stations in African countries
  • http//geoinfo.uneca.org/afref/

11
Development of Interoperability Standards The
Harmonized Administrative Boundary
  • Second Administrative Level Boundary (SALB)
  • Produce a comprehensive digital database of
    Second Administrative Level Boundaries
  • Provide a flexible and intuitive coding scheme
    that can be applied to any country, independently
    from administrative structure
  • an international borders template developed by
    the UN Cartographic Section in order to be able
    to create a global data set that is
    cross-boundary
  • an editing protocol in order to insure the
    comparability between the countries
  • a coding scheme for the identification of each
    administrative unit through time and space
  • a metadata profile that is associated with the
    information
  • a validation process of all the information by an
    official entity (generally the National Mapping
    Agency
  • www.salb.org

12
Creation of Regional Databases
  • TheTransport Infrastructure Database (TIDB)
  • The segments of the trans-African highway have
    been entered, together with proposed priority
    transport infrastructure projects of the various
    regional economic communities and specialized
    technical organizations. (http//geoinfo.uneca.org
    /afriquecentrale)
  • Programme of Infrastructure Development in Africa
    (PIDA)
  • The database covers all existing and planned
    infrastructure facilities in the continent. A
    compendium of maps was generated from the
    database and customized as an interactive digital
    atlas. (http//geoinfo.uneca.org/africaninfrastruc
    ture)
  • The African Fiber optic connectivity data base
  • Describes international Sea connectivity and
    current as well as planned connections within and
    between African countries. An African fiber optic
    map was generated. (http//geoinfo.uneca.org/downl
    oads/Fiber20Optic20Network.pdf)

13
The Trans African Highways
14
(No Transcript)
15
e-Services Delivery (Clearinghouse Services)
  • To use data produced by another person/agency,
    potential users need to know
  • That the data resource exists
  • How the data was produced
  • How to access the data
  • The metadata collections are best maintained
  • By the producers of the data
  • As an integral part of the data production
    process
  • But they should be accessible to potential users
  • Always available and easy to access
  • Result on-line metadata clearinghouse services
  • Search and discover what exists, where and how to
    access
  • Publish and advertise what you have and do
  • Field level, location and other criteria-based
    searches
  • http//geoinfo.uneca.org/

16
e-Services Delivery (Online Mapping)
  • Exploit the vast opportunities provided by the
    Web
  • Make it easy and rapid to search, and access
    geospatial information from multiple locations
  • Enable standards and interoperable web-based
    exploitation of Geodata
  • Develop value-add products and services
  • Decentralized Mapping
  • Previously unthinkable map themes now common at
    demand
  • Visualizing MDG Progress
  • Dynamic maps and Statistics
  • http//geoinfo.uneca.org

17
Meeting of African ICT Ministers, August 2010
  • 3rd ordinary session of the African Union ICT
    Ministers, held in Abuja, Nigeria, from 6-7
    August 2010, adopted The Abuja 2010 Declaration,
    which requests the AU Commission to, enter alia,
  • Conduct a feasibility study on the establishment
    of the African Space Agency and develop an
    African Space Policy in cooperation with the
    Regional Economic Communities (RECs), the United
    Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)
    and the International Telecommunications Union
    (ITU).

18
Meeting of African ICT Ministers, August 2010
(ctd)
  • Also the ministers endorsed the following
    recommendations from the experts
  • Undertake awareness raising campaigns for policy
    makers
  • Promote the use of African Regional Centres of
    Excellence to build the capacity of Member
    States
  • Provide appropriate input to African members of
    the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer
    Space (COPUOS), in order to better take into
    account Africas concerns and needs, especially
    on Disaster Management, Emergency Response and
    peaceful use of satellite imagery
  • Improve communication and coordination among
    existing initiatives in African countries.

19
Regional Coordination CODIST
  • Committee on Development Information, Science and
    Technology
  • UNECAs parliamentary body to provide technical
    advice on, and oversight over the ICT, Science
    Technology sub programme
  • Reports to the African Ministers of Finance and
    Economic Development
  • Meets every two years
  • Official delegates are government official in
    areas of geographic information, space, ICT,
    Science and Technology
  • Governments encouraged to include wide
    representation of all stakeholders in their
    delegations
  • Observers from Private Sector, Academia, NGOs and
    non-African officials and industry partners

20
Challenges on Space Technology Applications in
Africa
  • Communication infrastructure not yet fully
    developed to support remote access to data and
    services
  • Data not available at appropriate scale, and they
    are not up to date
  • Human capacity lack of critical mass and
    retention of staff
  • Computing resources not always available
  • Awareness raising decision-makers not aware of
    space benefits
  • Policy environment not yet developed

21
The Way Forward
  • Implement the Abuja 2010 Declaration and
    Recommendations
  • African Stakeholders and decision-makers to
    capitalize on the regularly organized Committee
    on Development Information, Science and
    Technology
  • UNECA technical African organizations to secure
    funding from the EU to provide technical support
    to the AU for implementing the Abuja Declaration
    and the Experts recommendations

22
  • Thank you
  • eApplicationsSection_at_uneca.org
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