The Economic Commission for Africa hosts the Eighth session of the United Nations Global Geospatial Information Management for Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The event takes place from 26 to 27 October 2022 on the sidelines of the Eighth Statistical Commission for Africa.
In opening the session, Oumar Ka, Executive Board Chair, UN-GGIM Africa, explains the meeting is an opportunity for the regional committee to showcase new policy and trends, discuss technical issues, and other spatial topics. “We convene this meeting each year because we care hugely about geospatial information management in Africa and the positive transformation of change that we know it can bring us if harnessed correctly,” Mr. Ka stated.
He also notes that GGIM is a tool providing Member States with the methodologies, standards and framework to guide decision-making. Mr. Ka stressed the key to succession geospatial information management is understanding each national context, formulating the right policies to address this context, defining the right objectives and implementing the right actions.
Director of the African Centre for Statistics, ECA, Oliver Chinganya, notes that, “collecting, analyzing and storing as well as using timely and trustworthy data, especially for geospatial and other disaggregated location-based data continue to pose the biggest obstacles for African countries.” Mr. Chinganya also points out that Member States are implementing the frameworks developed by the regional committee to facilitate the coordination, development and strengthening as well as the efficient and effective use and exchange of geospatial information for policy formulation, decision-making and innovation.
During the session Member States voted for the election of a new Executive Board. South Africa emerged as the new Chair of the Board, Cameroon as vice-Chair and Morocco as the second vice-Chair. Uganda will be the new Board’s first rapporteur, and Burkina Faso will be the second rapporteur.
The Regional Committee of United Nations Global Geospatial Information Management for Africa was established to coordinate African geospatial development and to contribute to the broader global initiative. Over the past decade, the Regional Committee has adopted realistic approaches to ensure that systematic and comprehensive frameworks are put in place, along with related policies, resources and systems to make geospatial information technology easily accessible to decision-makers and the community in a coordinated way.