Sunyani, June 15, GNA – A second international Africa Global Earth Observation System of Systems (AfriGEOSS) symposium under the auspices of the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) was opened on Tuesday in Sunyani.
Under the theme, “Delivering Earth Observations for Policy and Sustainable Societal Impact in Africa”, the three-day programme was attended by about 120 practitioners, experts and developers in earth observations technologies across Africa, Europe, the United States of America, Canada and other parts of the world.
It aimed at “providing the necessary framework for African countries, organisations and international partners to access and leverage ongoing local and international bilateral and multilateral EO-based initiatives across Africa, thereby creating synergies and minimising duplication for the benefit of the continent”.
It was designed to raise awareness on the value of the earth observation and to promote and build synergies with on-going and planned earth observations initiatives at national, regional and international levels.
Professor Harrison Kwame Dapaah, the Vice-Chancellor (VC) of UENR was hopeful that the initiative of the group on earth observations to focus on strengthening the use of earth observations and delivering the global earth observing system of systems (GEOSS) to Africa would leverage the expected impact.
He said AfriGEOSS was a coordination initiative that had been recognised essentially to enhance Africa’s capacity for producing, managing and using earth observations.
Prof. Harrison expressed optimism that the symposium would develop, network and disseminate knowledge and information among participants and added that its outcome would translate into transformational and pragmatic solutions for the existing emerging problems on Africa and the entire world.
In a speech read for him, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, said Africa was probably the most naturally endowed continent yet the management of its resources for the collective prosperity of her people had not yielded the desired results.
He cited deforestation resulting from unsustainable lumbering, poor agricultural practices, indiscriminate mining of sand, precious minerals and pollution of water resources as some of the endemic environmental issues across the continent.
Prof. Frimpong-Boateng noted both renewable and non-renewable natural resources abounded on the continent and the leadership therefore had enormous responsibility of ensuring sustainable exploitation of those resources.