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The Pan-African Atlas
Makane Faye
UN Economic Commission for Africa
 UNECA is continuously working on
analytical and advisory activities to
support Member States
 places emphasis on the building of the
Infrastructure for (ARSDI).
 involves
mechanisms as well as interoperability
and data sharing arrangements with
partners, including nodes at national
and sub-regional levels
Background (Cont..)
 ECA has been assisting member states in laying out
foundations for their national SDIs, in formulating
spatial policies, e-strategies, etc.
 Also ECA focuses in developing information and
knowledge resources, applications and services that
improve availability and use of spatially-enabled
information for development at the national,
regional and sub-regional levels.
 Several regional geospatial databases are being
developed by ECA to support regional initiatives,
which will form the core set of data for the African
Regional Spatial Data Infrastructure.
The Rationale
for Pan-African Atlas
 Africa is known for its vulnerability to disaster
and climate related risks.
 The continent is also facing major challenges
such as water scarcity, energy shortage,
environmental stress and food crisis, as well as
climate change, which affect citizens, business
and the community at large.
 These are due to diverse effects such as
disasters and climate extremes combined with
other development-related changes, such as
food insecurity, conflict, high unemployment
rate and rapid urbanization,
The Rationale
for Pan-African Atlas (Cont..)
 One of the priority areas to achieve the MDG’s goal
on poverty eradication is to make agriculture
environmentally sustainable through sound natural
resource management.
 This requires research into food production focusing
on drought resistant crops, adaptability to climate
change and sustainable soil and water resource
The Rationale
for Pan-African Atlas (Cont..)
 The United Nations Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) as
one of its objectives to assisting developing countries
in using space technology for development has been
working in awareness raising and capacity building in
 In its resolution 61/110 of 14 December 2006, the
UN General Assembly agreed to establish the "United
Nations Platform for Space-based Information for
Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UNSPIDER)" as a new United Nations programme, with
the following mission statement:
 "Ensure that all countries and international and
regional organizations have access to and develop
the capacity to use all types of space-based
information to support the full disaster management
 Since then UN-SPIDER has been working in disaster
risk management.
The Rationale
for Pan-African Atlas (Cont..)
 The Regional Workshop titled “The Space-based
Solutions for Disaster Management and Emergency
Response in Africa”, organized from 6-9 July 2010
in Addis Ababa, by UN-SPIDER in cooperation with
UNECA was a stimulus towards promoting access
for African countries to the use of space-based
applications and solutions.
 To this end, the two divisions, UNECA and The
Institute Of Global Mapping and Research (IGM) of
The European Academy Of Sciences And Arts have
decided to cooperate to build capacity of African
development of a Pan-African Atlas based on sound
and reliable data targeting African development
challenges and climate related information.
The Rationale
for Pan-African Atlas (Cont..)
 AARSE 2010 Conference, which was conducted in
Addis Ababa, from 25-29 October, had come up
with recommendations, which also point out the
need to use Earth Observation to address some of
the economic development challenges in the
continent including:
 Environmental
development, food and water security, climate
change mitigation, water resources management,
energy resources, disaster risk management,
health, geo-information governance and commerce,
The Rationale
for Pan-African Atlas (Cont..)
 the use of Geo-information and Geospatial
technology as a decision support is of
challenges that the continent is facing through
the provision of timely and reliable data and
information for decision making.
 Therefore, the main focus on the Atlas will be in
areas of land and water related data addressing
issues such as food security, land degradation,
water management, as well as disaster risk
management and climate change adaptation.
General Objective of
the Project
 To establish a data warehouse accessible
continent-wide with nodes in sub-regions,
centers of excellence, national focal points and
the academic community, to support research,
training and decision making on the continent.
Specific objectives
 To develop a database for Africa wide
land and water related data in order to
provide rich information for research on
disaster management and risk reduction
and in Climate change adaptation and
mitigation for decision making.
 Produce a Pan-African atlas accessible
to all member states
 Provide geospatial products and services
for easy access to all citizens of Africa
 Contribute to UNSDI
 The Pan-African Atlas will be composed of
datasets covering a wide range of socioeconomic issues from land cover to population
dynamics, infrastructure as well as disaster
and climate risks.
 online tools and shared databases which will
provide downloadable data, images and maps
at local, national, sub-regional and regional
 Pan-African Atlas and database will be used for
research and as a training tool for scientists
and as awareness raising resource and tool for
policy and decision makers.
Methodology (Cont..)
 The project will therefore use the following
methods to achieve the above mentioned
 Conduct awareness creation
 Conduct inventory of existing databases, e-atlases,
etc. related to the project
 Collect datasets from different organizations
(Government, NGO, Private,…) from different
Methodology (Cont..)
To develop a database for Africa wide
Perform data analysis, and mapping
Produce a Pan-African atlas accessible
to all member states and partners
Capacity building in terms of training,
institutional capacity, policy formulation,
 Several initiatives are on the ground in Africa, which
we can build on, including national SDIs, Regional
databases, etc..
 Some of these opportunities and existing initiatives
 UNSPIDER and its Regional support offices,
 African Regional centers of Exc. (such as
 Programme for Infrastructure Development in
Africa (PIDA),
 Several applications developed by ECA to
support the process
Potential Benefits for
Member States
 Capacity of member states will be
enhanced in the use of geospatial
products and services.
 The atlas will enable decision making in
areas of natural resource management,
infrastructure development, disaster
risk management, climate change
adaptation, etc.
 Facilitate risk mapping for prevention
and preparedness purpose, disaster
management and risk reduction, as well
as mitigation of climate change impacts.