African Anglophone academic institutions join forces to support skill development on Earth Observation
The African Union Commission led, Global Monitoring for Environment and Security and Africa (GMES and Africa), Programme convenes its second continental workshop on collaboration actions with Anglophone academic institutions and various consortia in Lusaka Zambia. The three-day workshop aims at establishing a network of Anglophone academic institutions that are involved in Earth Observation (EO) research, training and skill development to better support the implementation of the GMES and Africa Programme at regional levels in Africa.
The GMES and Africa has developed a training strategy that calls for the engagement of academia in curriculum development and conducting training on a long term basis. Vice-Chancellor of the University of Zambia, Prof. Luke Mumba, in his opening statement says: some consortia present today have been actively involving their partner universities in training while others are still working on appropriate strategies. As part of the academic network, we are here to make concrete proposals on how academia can be integrated into the Earth Observation Programme because we have a critical role to play in terms of skills development.
Prof. Saley Mahman Bachir, Senior Scientific Officer at the African Union Commission, on his part, said the GMES and Africa Programme guide capacity development efforts in developing skills for Earth Observation applications and strengthening capacities of technical institutions in Africa.
Workshop participants have discussed a possible strategy for the involvement of African English Speaking academic institutions in Earth Observation skill development in Africa. Workshop participants have also paved the way to create synergy among English-speaking African academic institutions to better support the GMES and Africa implementing consortia.
The GMES and Africa is working with 12 regional consortia coordinating a collaborative network over 120 institutions which include universities, to derive evidence-based information and value-added services that will improve management of land-based and marine resources in Africa. The University of Zambia – Integrated Water Resources Management Centre is implementing the Wetland Assessment and Monitoring Project funded by the GMES and Africa through the led consortia the Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management (SASSCAL). The University of Zambia has acquired the capacity development infrastructure such as weather station, trained postgraduate students and facilitated several tailor-made courses on EO.