GODAN introduces a new initiative to drive global efforts in tackling food security by providing open data polices in agriculture and nutrition.
GODAN has announced an MoU with the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) to extend capacity development efforts within countries located across Eastern and Southern Africa with the aim of promoting sustainable development.
The partnership, aimed at developing Geo-Information services and ICT products among its Member States, will see both parties work closely together on Geospatial solutions which will enhance African collaboration with both the Secretariat and its extensive Partner Network. The discussed activities include, but are not be limited to, open data sourcing, working groups, and publications and research papers, with an aim to better inform the open data policy agenda.
Executive Director of GODAN, André Laperrière, signed the MOU in Nairobi on behalf of GODAN, alongside Dr. Emmanual Nkurunziza, Director General of the RCMRD, to work closely with countries who are a part of, or wishing to join, the 2017 Nairobi Declaration. Alongside Kenya; South Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Rwanda and Ghana are currently part of this 15-country agreement.
GODAN seeks to support global efforts to make agricultural and nutrition-relevant data available, accessible, and easy to use on a global scale, by building high-level policy, public and private institutional support for open data. GODAN is a pioneer in open data advocacy, through its own policy advisory and capacity development work, but also through its network of around one thousand members, committed to the joint aim of advocating for open data principles. Increased data accessibility and access to smart technologies empowers farmers and companies – both large and small – throughout the worldwide food production chain to better plan and sustainably execute food production and farming processes, contributing to tackling global issues such as world hunger and environmental sustainability.
RCMRD, which was established in Nairobi in 1975, with the support of UNECA and the African Union, has been a key partner for GODAN in the African region and is focused on sustainable the applications of Earth observation technologies and data-driven solutions, to improve management of natural resources, infrastructure, and the environment.
Speaking about the initiative, Andre Laperrière, the Executive Director of GODAN said: “Africa has continued to enhance its position as an innovative region, and much of this is due to its developing framework for the gathering, managing, and analysing of data which is instrumental in helping to make smarter, more informed decisions. RCMRD has been at the forefront of this for many years, responsible for many of the open data benefits countries in the initiative have experienced.
This collaboration will provide a platform to strengthen multilateral collaboration within the region and will provide an example for the rest of the world to emulate. This is an exciting time for all parties, and we expect to see Africa becoming a hub for technological advancement with the next few years.”
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