WP5: Empowering economic development Southern Africa

The main objective of this work package is to continue the impact of the GEONetCab project on raising awareness on use and benefits of Earth observation to enable an environment for sustainable economic development through increased use of Earth observation in Southern Africa (SADC region).
This will be achieved through:

  • promotion of increased use of environmental EO for sustainable economic development;
  • upgrade the GEONETCab success stories into the portfolio of EO applications for economic development and environmental management in Southern Africa;
  • resource mobilisation with local and international organizations.

Task T5.1- Roadshow activities to promote the increased use of EO products and services for environmental applications, including capacity building
During the regional workshop for GEONetCAb and subsequent events the project team learnt that the community struggles with the access or knowing where to find information online. The face-to-face events proved to be of great value.
The activities include outreach programmes to school learners and educators (visiting schools and arranging schools to visit SANSA facilities) which are already being undertaken by SANSA. This will be further supported by participation in scientific festivals. Community or social festivals will be used to further reach communities outside the formal structures of education.
SANSA will leverage its networks in the region to reach EO professionals and users. The follow up project to AMESD SADC Thematic Action, MESA, will provide a platform for SADC region promotion roadshow and capacity building activities.
A lesson learnt from GEONetCab project in the region was that to reach new users, especially at societal benefit area level, it is important to target these professionals in their own events, hence societal benefit area specific events will be used for used a platform to promote use of environmental EO for sustainable economic development. To reach decision makers, events for policy makers related to sustainable economic development, environmental protection, e.g. climate change, water governance etc. will be targeted.

Task T5.2- Identification, preparation and packaging of Success stories in the region
Identification and preparation of success stories using the framework developed by GEONetCab. The task will focus on getting more regional success stories covering various societal benefit areas, e.g. AMESD SADC Thematic Action is now in a position to show case its success stories. The identification process will further inform the project of which societal benefit areas to concentrate on as new-users.

Task T5.3- Establishment of local focal points (nodes) that actively promote and provide capacity building on the use of EO for environmental applications effectively and at low-cost
SANSA will work as a regional focal node for the SADC region. Through its data receiving infrastructure and space agency activities it has the capacity and has been undertaking this role. SANSA is preparing to receive Landsat 8 and CBERS 3 data for distribution in the SADC region. This will further build on the Fundisa Disc initiative that provides low-cost data to institutions, bandwidth and exposure to various EO sensor data. The recipients of the data will act as national focal points for further distribution and capacity building initiatives for the country. The identified national focal nodes on the AMESD SADC Thematic project continue through the MESA project and will further provide promotion and capacity building activities for the region.

Task T5.4- Resource mobilisation with local and international organizations
Sustainability and continuity of programmes and projects depends on local or recipient ownership. In this regard the task will focus on mobilising local resource providers that may benefit from increased use of EO for economic development. The idea is for resource providers to request the use of EO for implementation in their funded projects. Further international organizations with interest or focus in the SADC region will be sensitised in the benefits of increased use of EO.

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