AfriGEO symposium in full swing in Swakopmund

First AfriGEO seminar for Namibia
Precious Nghitaunapo
The 7th African Group on Earth Observations, (AfriGEO) symposium is taking place at the Community Skills Development Foundation (COSDEF) Arts and Crafts Centre in Swakopmund.

The seminar commenced on 18 September and will conclude today ( 22 September 2023). The AfriGEO, is a Pan African initiative of the African community aimed at providing a coordination framework and platform for Africa’s participation in earth observations.

Representatives from 20 different countries including Madagascar, Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa, Switzerland, Botswana, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Australia, Sierra Leone, DRC, USA, Uganda, Côte d'Ivoire and Namibia are represented during the seminar.

The director of research at the Ministry of Higher Education (MHETI), Lisho Mundia and the general manager of innovation and technology development of NCRST, Lovisa Immanuel both emphasised the importance of Namibia as host of the 7th AfriGEO Symposium.

“We have dedicated this year to kick-start critical activities that position our space science and technology agenda," said Mundia.

Immanuel added that, participating and ensuring that GEO objectives are reflected in Namibia's national initiatives and pointed out that in just two weeks, Namibia will join the rest of the world to celebrate World Space Week 2023.

Mundia further pointed out that earth observations are key aspects for exploiting new opportunities, such as the sustainable management of natural resources. "These observations include, forecasting weather, tracing biodiversity and wildlife trends, monitoring land-use, land cover changes, energy sources, water and agriculture as well as monitoring and responding to disasters."

Prior to the official seminar, three-parallel pre-symposium trainings were hosted by the Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI), Digital Earth Africa, GEO Land Degradation Neutrality Flagship (GEO-LDN) and the CBAS.

The National Commission on Research, Science and Technology (NCRST), maintains a conducive environment between students, researchers, policymakers and relevant counterparts. They aim to harness earth observation capabilities for Namibia’s development.