African Association of Remote Sensing of the Environment (AARSE) is a participating organization in the Group on Earth Observations (GEO).
The AARSE delegation was led by Dr. Sias Mostert (AARSE: Treasurer) also present were Jane Bemigisha (LOC: AARSE 2016 Conference, Uganda), Ms. Barbara Ryan (Group on Earth Observations (GEO): Secretariat Director) and Bulelwa Semoli (AARSE: Southern Africa Representative) at the Symposium which was held at The Elephant Hills Hotel, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.
According to Bulelwa Semoli – the 1st Afrigeoss Symposium was a success with a good turnout from 32 African countries. She further notes that “the Afrigeoss supports the implementation of the African Union 2063 Agenda. It provides a platform to implement the Societal Benefits Areas (SBAs) in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is also important that national and regional GEO initiatives are linked to the AU’s policies in order to make a meaningful impact.”
One of the outstanding presentations was the Australian Geoscience Data Cube and its result in unlocking the Landsat Archive spanning forty years of data. It’s a tool to be explored and was developed using open source software and standards.
(See http://www.datacube.org.au/ for more information)
The broad outcomes of the symposium are:
Dr. Sias Mostert foresees AfriGEOSS “as a platform for effective consensus building with regards to the needs and priorities of Africa and to unlock the potential of Africa when it comes to environmental and city management.”
Dr. Jane Bemigisha places the emphasis on the private sector: “Strengthening engagement of the private sector with Governments and the AfriGEOSS community will enhance access and use of the vast Earth Observation products, knowledge and expertise within the private business communities. However, the capacities of SMEs needs to be enhanced for them to deliver at required scales.”