Next Article in Journal
Automatic Discovery of Railway Train Driving Modes Using Unsupervised Deep Learning
Previous Article in Journal
Evaluating the Suitability of Urban Expansion Based on the Logic Minimum Cumulative Resistance Model: A Case Study from Leshan, China
Article Menu
Issue 7 (July) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle

The Role of African Emerging Space Agencies in Earth Observation Capacity Building for Facilitating the Implementation and Monitoring of the African Development Agenda: The Case of African Earth Observation Program

Earth Observation Directorate, South African National Space Agency (SANSA), The Enterprise Building, Mark Shuttleworth Street, Pretoria 0002, South Africa
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2019, 8(7), 292;
Received: 30 April 2019 / Revised: 12 June 2019 / Accepted: 15 June 2019 / Published: 27 June 2019
PDF [4611 KB, uploaded 27 June 2019]


AU-Agenda 2063 was adopted at the 24th Ordinary Session of the African Heads of State and Government in 2015 as the blueprint for the future development of the continent. Built upon the continent’s past experiences, challenges, and successes, AU-Agenda 2063 comprehensively describes the strategic path for Africa’s future development in the next 50 years. Thus, the monitoring of its implementation in various African states is critical for ensuring sustainable development and track progress. However, the higher cost of collecting data for accurately and reliably monitoring the implementation of Agenda 2063 may hinder the progress towards achieving these goals. Satellite Earth observation provides ample data, and thus has provided opportunities for the development of novel products and services with the potential to support implementation, monitoring and reporting for AU-Agenda 2063 development imperatives. However, it has been limitedly exploited in Africa, as evidenced by lower research outputs and investments. This calls for increased capacity building in the use of available EO data and products for various users including decision makers to advance national, regional and continental priorities. The use of such data products is often hampered by the capability to understand the products and thus their value for addressing socio-economic challenges. This paper discusses the potential of Earth observation capacity building for supporting the implementation, monitoring of, and reporting towards achieving AU-Agenda 2063 development imperatives. Specifically, this paper identifies existing capacity building resources, including the role of open and free Earth observation data, open-source software, and product dissemination platforms that can be leveraged for supporting national development, service delivery and the achievement of AU-Agenda 2063 targets. Furthermore, the paper recognizes the importance of bilateral and multilateral partnerships in leveraging existing know-how, technology and other resources for advancing strategic goals of African emerging space agencies and promoting sustainable development, with examples from South African National Space Agency (SANSA). Then, the challenges and opportunities for capacity building and the wide adoption of EO in Africa are discussed in the context of AU-Agenda 2063. The paper thus concludes that EO capacity building is essential to address the skills and data gaps and increase the use of EO-based solutions for decision making in various sectors, critical for achieving AU-A2063. View Full-Text
Keywords: AU-Agenda 2063; Capacity building; Earth observation; UN-SDGs AU-Agenda 2063; Capacity building; Earth observation; UN-SDGs

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Kganyago, M.; Mhangara, P. The Role of African Emerging Space Agencies in Earth Observation Capacity Building for Facilitating the Implementation and Monitoring of the African Development Agenda: The Case of African Earth Observation Program. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2019, 8, 292.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. EISSN 2220-9964 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top