SANSA's Dr Tendani Lavhengwa (left) and Mr Imraan Saloojee (right) posing for a pic with Prof Amon Murwira at the AfriGEOSS symposium
Forging relationships and exploring new dimensions is an essential ingredient in the success of a young space agency such as the South African National Space Agency. SANSA participated in the first AfriGEOSS symposium held on 27-29 April 2016 in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.
The symposium was hosted by the Research Council of Zimbabwe (RCZ) on behalf of the government. GEO was established in 2005 as a voluntary partnership of governments and organizations that envisioned “a future wherein decisions and actions for the benefit of humankind are informed by coordinated, comprehensive and sustained Earth observations and information”.
The GEO community, comprising of 101 nations, is creating a Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) that will link Earth observation resources world-wide across multiple Societal Benefit Areas. Representing SANSA was Dr Tendani Lavhengwa and Mr Imraan Saloojee who spoke about the significance of Contributing to the Implementation of the African Space Programme: EO Data and Infrastructure space segment - available observations, observational gaps, data access, archive, processing and dissemination. Mr Saloojee spoke about the importance of private sector engagement.
Themed under "Earth Observations for the Africa We Want", the symposium discussions focused on ensuring that AfriGEOSS activities respond to the broader African agendas and objectives such the African Union (AU) Agenda 2063.
Earth observation data and knowledge is crucial for humanity as it faces unprecedented social, economic and environmental challenges at global, regional, national and local levels. Furthermore data obtained from Earth observation and knowledge derived from those observations is fundamental for identifying and implementing solutions, monitoring progress and measuring impacts.