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Geospatial Information for Africa’s Development Needs

Geospatial Information for Africa’s Development Needs

Geospatial stakeholders are meeting in Addis Ababa from April 20-22 at the Fourth High Level Forum on United Nations Global Geospatial Information Management to discuss strengthening the use of geospatial information for good land governance and for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Geospatial information plays a crucial role in mining, agricultural, urban planning, educational, military and health care applications hence the Government of Ethiopia, the United Nations Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) and the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) are convening this forum to raise awareness and highlight the importance to decision makers of the need for fit-for-purpose land administration and management information.

Geospatial information scientists help countries plan, measure and study the usage of space over time which in turn helps define how weather, population, resources and climate conditions are affected by these changes. The management of this information is vital for effective governments, organisations and businesses.

Entitled ‘Good land governance for the 2030 Agenda’, the forum brings together a group of about 10 government ministers and 400 geospatial interested persons at the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) to deliberate on land information, land governance and regulatory frameworks, and geospatial land information management.

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The UNGGIM recognises that geospatial information can help in creating crucial decision support systems. Geospatial information management affects our daily lives, whether we are trying to locate a building or finding directions in a big city. It also touches on property rights, customary rights and security of tenure whilst also affecting decisions on the environment and economic and social well-being.

Delegates have been tasked to develop ideas on geospatial information requirements for land administration and management with a special focus on the needs for Africa.

The conference program will feature keynote speeches delivered by high-level policy-makers and leading scholars, technical sessions with reports of the latest research outcomes. Panel sessions will cover operational topics such as capacity development, land policy, land information, programmes and projects, as well as commercial exhibitions showing latest products and services in geospatial science and technology.

On the first day of Forum, the Land Policy Initiative (LPI) of ECA and the Government of Germany will launch the Scholarship Program for the Network of Excellence on Land Governance in Africa (NELGA). NELGA is supported by the German government under the program “Strengthening capacities for land governance in Africa (SLGA)”.

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The Land Policy Initiative (LPI) will also organize a Ministerial dialogue on land governance in Africa. The session will discuss key land governance issues in the context of implementing the Agenda 2030 at national levels. The aim is to agree on promising avenues for partnership to cooperate on achieving the SDG goals.

The exchanges are expected to identify concrete measures to strengthen women’s land rights in Africa.  Ministers from Ethiopia, Namibia and Zimbabwe as well as a Minister from Germany will attend the dialogue.

Established in 2011, the United Nations initiative on Global Geospatial Information Management sets the agenda for global geospatial information development and promotes the benefits of geospatial information for addressing national policy and key global challenges.