South Africa’s space agency to support key Nepad programmes

19th April 2017 By: Keith Campbell - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

South Africa’s space agency to support key Nepad programmes

Nepad Agency CEO Dr Ibrahim Mayaki (left) and Sansa CEO Dr Val Munsami (right) after the signing of the MoU
Photo by: South African National Space Agency

The South African National Space Agency (Sansa) and Nepad signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Wednesday under which the former will support various programmes of the latter with Earth observation products and services. (Nepad originally stood for New Partnership for Africa’s Development, but this full name no longer seems to be used.)

“We remain committed to ensuring the integration of African space-based knowledge and technology in improving the lives of fellow Africans and welcome such esteemed partnerships in achieving this objective,” affirmed Sansa CEO Dr Val Munsami. The Sansa products and services will be used to support such important Nepad programmes as urban planning and infrastructure monitoring, integrated water resources management, sustainable agriculture and food security, and sustainable forestry management, among other initiatives for the benefit of societies.

In particular, Nepad’s 2025 Vision on the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) depends upon spatial decision support systems for its implementation. The satellite-based remote sensing products and services that will be provided by Sansa will play an essential role in aiding these spatial decision support systems.

The CAADP is the continent’s policy framework for transforming agriculture, ensuring food security and nutrition, growing economies, creating wealth and achieving prosperity for everyone. It is a Pan-African initiative, establishing principles and broad strategies to assist African countries.

Other Nepad programmes that will be supported include the Action Plan for the Environment Initiative and the Presidential Infrastructure Champion Initiative. Sansa products and services will also help Nepad to assist the African Union (AU) to monitor the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The UN SDGs are, in turn, in line with the execution of the first Ten Year Plan of the AU’s Agenda 2063. “The achievement of Agenda 2063 requires innovative partnerships that enhance evidence based planning and implementation for real transformative impacts on the continent,” stated Nepad Agency CEO Dr Ibrahim Mayaki. Because of the MoU, Sansa products and services based on Earth observation data will help reinforce evidence based policy formulation and country planning across Africa.