NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
Scientists started a three-day international
conference on Wednesday by calling on sub-Saharan Africa to adopt
geo-spatial technologies to help achieve United Nations anti-poverty
The director general of the Regional Center for Mapping of Resources
for Development (RCMRD), Emmanuel Nkurunziza, said such technologies
offer avenues for governments in fast tracking decision-making in
achieving 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“Once policy-makers in the region resort to application of science,
the goals will be achieved within a given time frame,” Nkurunziza
said during the opening of the first space science conference in
He told policy-makers to upscale the application of the science
since RCMDR has experts who are ready to help them explore the
possibility of prioritizing space science to help spur growth in
The RCMRD was established in Nairobi in 1975 under the auspices of
the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and the then
Organization of African Unity (OAU), today African Union (AU).
The inter-governmental organization now has 20 “contracting member
states” in eastern and southern Africa regions—Botswana, Burundi,
Comoros, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia,
Rwanda, Seychelles, Somali, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan,
Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
Agrina Mussa, Malawi’s Ambassador to Kenya speaks during
the Regional Center for Mapping of Resources for development (RCMRD)
First International Conference in Nairobi.
XINHUA PHOTO: CHARLES ONYANGO
Nkurunziza noted that the technologies are capable of helping people
cope with climate change and food insecurity, two problems that
affect agriculture in east and southern African countries.
“The technologies are a benefit to human kind and this generation
cannot afford to miss the applications of space science and earth
observations since they remain connected to the base where real
lives are lived and the true value of scientific and technological
advancements is realized,” he added.
The scientist noted that RCMRD will continue living up to promoting
sustainable development through generation, application and
dissemination of geo-information and allied ICT services and
products to member states and beyond.
Nkurunziza said the RCMDR is currently providing primary service in
drought monitoring, frost forecasting in tea growing areas, stream
flow and flood prediction, land cover mapping and vulnerability
Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Land and Physical Planning Jacob
Kaimenyi said the country is establishing a state-of-the-art
positioning system, known as Kenya Geodetic Reference Frame (KENREF),
for data acquisition and processing.
This, Kaimenyi said, follows a recommendation by the United Nations
Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the UN Global Geospatial
Information Management (UNGGIM).
He said Kenya now uses space technology to ascertain proper boundary
rights registration and issuance of title deeds to millions of
China showcases literature on
tropical diseases, ancient printing at Kenya fair
“The book fair is very famous in China. We prepared adequately for
the event and the stand proved popular on the first day,” Chen
Yingjie, an official with the delegation told Xinhua. “We anticipate
the crowd to grow in the subsequent days.”
The book fair, which is organized by the Kenya Publishers
Association, is one of the leading exhibitions in Africa, drawing
writers of creative works or factual texts that serve as reflection
Chen said exchanges of literature among nations was one way of
enhancing friendship between peoples of different backgrounds,
adding that both Kenyan and Chinese have the aspect of friendship as
a common denominator.
The medical books, set to be on sale at the tail-end of the event,
shed light on how tropical diseases like tuberculosis, malaria,
diarrhea and scabies among others can be contained in the tropical
region of Africa, which is more severely ravaged by infectious
diseases in comparison to the temperate world.
There was also display of woodblock printing by artist Wei Lizhong.
He demonstrated the ancient Chinese color printing art at the stand,
which proved very popular with visitors to the fair, some of whom
participated in the printing under the guide of Wei.
The activity attracted more than 300 visitors by midday, Chen said.
Sofia, a primary student, was one of them. She said she liked the
Chinese art because it was very interesting.
According to the organizers, the Chinese event was one of the
highlights at the fair, which has drawn a total of 76 exhibitors
including 16 international presenters this year.
“The number of visitors to the fair has been growing exponentially
over the years. Last year we received over 26,000 guests and we
anticipate the figure to be surpassed this time round if the trend
continues,” said James Odhiambo, the Executive Officer of the Kenya