NEPAD/ SANSA partnership targets growth and development in Africa

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Delegation from NEPAD Agency and SANSA at signing ceremony

The MoU signed today between NEPAD and the South African National Space Agency (SANSA), will enable the provision of Earth observation products and services that support the implementation of key programmes for societal benefit such as sustainable agriculture and food security, integrated water resources management, sustainable forestry management, as well as urban planning and infrastructure monitoring.

"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.' said Dr Valanathan Munsami, SANSA CEO at the signing ceremony.

Big data consortia planned for SA

SANSA intends to join a consortia of South African institutions, which includes the Universities of Cape Town, North West, Pretoria, Sol Plaatje, Western Cape and WITS as well as the SKA-South Africa, to establish a proto-type African Research Cloud (proto-type ARC). The Agency is in the process of finalising an MOU that will formally cement its membership in the consortia.

The African Research Cloud (ARC) aims to bring together resources and expertise from multiple institutions across the continent to establish a distributed and shared infrastructure, tools and environment for big data research in strategic domain's such as astronomy, bioinformatics and Earth observation.

The first phase of development of the ARC involves South African institutions collaboratively developing a functional proto-type for the ARC. During this phase the focus will be on, amongst others, defining strategic science demonstration projects and enabling the development of a continental pilot which should result in the full roll out of the ARC by the middle of the next decade.

SANSA will provide an Earth observation node for the proto-type ARC and ultimately the ARC. The EO node will enable the Earth observation community in South Africa and the continent to engage in EO focused big data research. In so doing SANSA will be leveraging its data infrastructure to provide more timely and accurate information for determining, amongst others, progress on initiatives such as the Millennium Development Goals, food security and water resource management. This node of the ARC will ultimately provide support of evidenced based policy and decision making across the continent and will thus support the objectives of the African Space Strategy and AfriGEOSS.

 

Hidden Figures #HiddenNoMore

Hidden figures

'An incredible display of how to achieve incredible feats in the face of adversity through passion, perseverance and excellence' - SANSA

Hidden Figures (https://youtu.be/jetpvwpTF1o), an American portrayal of the true life experience of three remarkable African American women who were employed at NASA in the sixties, had a pre-screening on 22 February 2017 at three city centres in the country.

SANSA was privileged to participate at these screenings in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban and got the opportunity to show off some of our own 'Hidden Figures' who shared their experiences and achievements at the Agency.

Wishing you a 'Space- filled' Valentine

SANSA bids farewell to Earth Observation Head

Dr JaneDr Jane Olwoch

The Managing Director for the SANSA Earth Observation programme, Dr Jane Olwoch will be taking her leave of the Agency at the end of January 2017. She has been leading the programme since  its establishment in 2011 and made a valuable contribution to the development and appreciation of Earth observation during her tenure.

She has ensured the delivery of extensive services to both private and public sector and contributed her leadership in many international forums on behalf of SANSA.

Dr Olwoch leaves SANSA to pursue further growth opportunities and we are grateful to her for her contribution to the field of Earth Observation and wish her a bright future in her new endeavour.

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