Minister of Land Reform Utoni Nujoma says the shortage of experienced technical and professional staff skilled in the use of geospatial data for good governance is a serious concern, as it constrains his ministry.
Nujoma was speaking at the Fourth High Level Forum on United Nations Global Geospatial Information Management that took place recently in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa. The three-day forum that ended on Friday had been organised to discuss ways to improve the use of geospatial information for good land governance and for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
He said the lack of experience in handling geospatial data affects many African countries and to overcome this challenge, countries need to cooperate more closely.
He said the meeting brought together an enormous amount of expertise and experience to address the specific challenges of governance of land and natural resources. “Let us capitalise on that. Let us use our knowledge and experiences and let our voices be heard beyond this week and outside this meeting,” he said.
“I wish to acknowledge the role played by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in providing a regional focus and leadership for geospatial information activities in Africa,” Nujoma said. He further said he hopes the ECA will enhance their capacity to assist African countries in utilising the opportunities offered by geospatial technology.
In brief, he said: “Let us make a change towards responsible governance of land and other natural resources, so that it becomes successful, productive and more responsive to poverty reduction.”
Nujoma commended all who contributed to the UN Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management knowledge base. He said he is of the view this platform will enable easy access to a global database of geographic information and knowledge to support the management of global geospatial information.
“The compendium of case studies, training manuals and best practices will no doubt support capacity development in this important area of geospatial information,” he said. Nujoma, therefore, joined in the call for member states and regional committees to provide relevant material to the secretariat in order to populate the knowledge base.
Geospatial analysis – or simply spatial analysis – is a method of applying statistical analysis and other analytic techniques to geographical or spatial data. Such analysis would typically employ software capable of rendering maps processing spatial data and applying analytical methods to terrestrial or geographic datasets, including the use of geographic information systems and geomatics.