AfriGEO is an initiative of the African community in GEO aimed at providing a coordination framework and platform for Africa's participation in GEO. In addition, it is a:

  • Pan African initiative to raise awareness and develop capacity on EO for governments, research organizations and the commercial sector;
  • Framework for strengthening partnerships and collaborations within Africa;
  • Gateway into Africa for international partners; and
  • Support mechanism for the implementation of GEO objectives and programmes in Africa

The AfriGEO Secretariat, through a resolution of the 2018 Steering Committee meeting held in Gabon, was moved to the Regional Centre for mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) based in Nairobi, Kenya from Geneva where it had been hosted since its inception.
The AfriGEO Objectives are to:

  • Strengthen connection with the current GEO Principals in national government agencies in Africa, participating organizations and enlarge the GEO partnership in the Regional Economic Communities (RECs): ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States), AMU( Arab Maghreb Union) , COMESA (Common Marker for Eastern and Southern Africa), CENSAD (Community for Sahel Saharan States) , EAC (East African Community), ECCAS (Economic Community for Central African States), IGAD (Intergovernmental Authority on Development), SADC(Southern African Development Community) and with the African Union;
  • Increase uptake of EO in Africa through the promotion of long-term Human Capital Development programmes;
  • Facilitate and drive programmes towards achieving the Global, RECs and Africa wide goals and objectives i.e., AU Agenda 2063, 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Paris Climate Agreement;
  • Support international collaboration by connecting national and regional institutions and programmes with GEO and Regional GEOs;
  • Foster creation of synergies to reduce duplication of efforts across Africa;
  • Liaise with the GEO secretariat to ensure synergic and streamlined operations;
  • Advocate for the uptake of EO in decision making and raise awareness on benefits of Earth observations for the continent;
  • Develop a strategy of access and dissemination of Earth observation data and information throughout Africa and
  • Ensure communication, outreach, awareness, user engagement, and mobilization of resources.

AfriGEO Symposium, 2021

The Africa Space Industry has significantly grown in the last 10 years. The value of EO in addressing many development agendas is undoubted. The SDGS Vision 2030, Africa Space Policy and strategy as well national development agendas are all aligned to spur sustainable economic development that is inclusive and leaves no one behind. We want to see that African EO industries are also rising to the occasion to fill in the gaps in addressing these development challenges. Africa Agenda 2063 reflects the African desire for shared prosperity, unity and integration. Key to providing support to the agenda was also the formulation of science, technology and innovation strategy which is an important intervention for using science and technology in responding to key priorities of the continent.

Key objectives to be addressed and achieved by the space policy includes:

  • Addressing user needs (To harness the potential benefits of space science and technology in addressing Africas socio-economic opportunities and challenges.)
  • Addressing space services (To strengthen space mission technology on the continent in order to ensure optimal access to space-derived data, information services and products.)
  • Developing the regional Market (To develop a sustainable and vibrant indigenous space industry that responds to the needs of the African continent.)
  • Coordinating the African Space (To maximize the benefit of, current and planned, space activities, and avoid or minimize the du-plication of resources and efforts.)
  • Promoting intra-Africa & other international cooperation (To promote the African-led space agenda through mutually beneficial partnerships.)
  • Liaise with the GEO secretariat to ensure synergic and streamlined operations;
  • Adopting good governance and management (To adopt good corporate governance and best practices for the coordinated management of continental space activities.)

A prerequisite to achieving all the above objectives is collaboration and integration (amalgamating systems, people, policies, parts together to improve productivity and quality of operations). A backbone to this approach already provided for in the Africa Space Policy which aims to create a well-coordinated and integrated African Outer space Programme that is responsive to the aforementioned spheres (technological, social, political, economic, legal and environmental).

AfriGEO symposium 2021 therefore aims at providing a platform to begin enhance collaboration and integration by bringing together experts from the aforementioned spheres to discuss, unlock and activate the growth of African Industries in EO.

This symposium shall focus on 5 thematic areas:

  • Climate Change
  • Agriculture and Food Security
  • Industry (SMME) focus
  • EO for Health
  • Disaster Risk Reductions
  • Data and Infrastructure (Cross cutting)


Event Schedules

The opening session for the symposium shall be run as a plenary session. The moderator will welcome everyone and highlight the rules of enggagement, after which he shall introduce the guest speakers from GEO, Africa Caucus chair and the AfriGEO secretariat to make some remarks on GEO priorities and actions, orientation in the coming years, and alignment to regional challenges, AfriGEO achievements in the last two years, and outlook on where it should be, the secretariats support in meeting the AfriGEO Work Program (WP) as well as a call to member countries and participating organizations in how they can support AfriGEO in meeting its obligation. The keynote speech will be delivered by a representative of IPCC, who will provide insights on AR6, and what it means for Africa.

  • Opening Session (40 min)
    • Ms. Yana Gevorgyan - Director, GEO Secretariat
    • Mr Humbulani Mudau - Caucus Chair/Alternate Chief Director: Space Science and Technology, Dept. of Science and Innovation (DSI), South Africa
    • Dr. Emmanuel Nkurunziza - Director General, RCMRD/AfriGEO Secretariat (Host)
  • Keynote Speech (30 min)
    • Prof. Francois Engelbrecht, Director and Professor of Climatology, Global Change Institute, University of the Witwatersrand
  • Reflections (10 min)
  • Moderator
    • Dr. Aboubakar Ndjoungui Mambimba, Deputy General Manager, AGEOS

Climate change is one of the key thematic areas this year given the current status of climate change after the AR6 and with COP 26 in the offing. This session will provide perspective on how EO communities are supporting Climate issues related to: Adaptation and Vulnerabilities, Building Resilience, Paris commitments, reporting challenges. This session will thus create a platform to discuss how EO is being used and how it can fast track support to countries meeting the Paris Agreement. Session shall be a plenary with 4 speakers from GEO, Space Agency, DE Africa and country UNFCCC representative. Session shall also have two showcase studies on EO use in addressing some of the climate change challenges.

  • Panel Discussion (50 min)
    • Dr. Sara Venturini - Climate Coordinator, GEO Secretariat
    • Dr. Emil Cherrington - Regional Science Coordination Lead for Servir West Africa, NASA/SERVIR Science Coordination Office
    • Dr. Shanti Reddi - Partnerships and Strategic Planning, D E Africa Establishment Team
    • Ms. Yvonne Nyokabi - Climate Change Specialist, NDC support project, UNDP
  • Show case studies (30 min)
    • Dr. Chris Funk - Director of the Climate Hazards Center (CHC), UC Santa Barbara
    • Mr. Morne, Lead Scientist in remote sensing, South African Weather Service
  • Reflections (30 min).
  • Moderator
    • Prof. Amos Kabo-Bah - Associate Professor, University of Energy and Natural Resources, Ghana

Agriculture and food security is a significant development challenge in the region. Sub-Saharan Africa has an estimated 239 million people suffering from hunger, mainly driven by climate variability, pests and diseases, poverty and inconsistent food production policies. The session shall focus on EO utilities and services that address risks related to pests and diseases, and the vulnerabilities brought about by climate change. EO technologies that are contributing to monitoring and early warning systems against shocks and stresses such as drought and flooding, which significantly affects food production. To put productivity into context, geo-spatial technologies are also instrumental in mapping soil systems, providing yield estimations, monitoring markets, and mitigating risk through use of quality insurance and precision agriculture systems. A keynote address by SANSA focusing on EO contributions to this sector, highlighting DE Africa contributions as well, followed by a panel discussion with representatives from GEOGLAM, GEO LDN, SERVIR E&SA, and CSIR will form the key features of this session.

  • Keynote Speech (20 min)
    • Ms. Andiswa Mlisa - Managing Director: Earth Observations, SANSA
  • Panel Discussion (50 min)
    • Prof. Catherine Nakalembe - Associate Research Professor, Dept. of Geographical Sciences, University of Maryland/ Africa Program Director, NASA Harvest
    • Prof. Amos Kabo-Bah - Associate Professor, University of Energy and Natural Resources, Ghana
    • Ms. Lilian Ndung'u - Thematic Lead Agriculture and Food Security, SERVIR E & SA
    • Prof. Moses Cho - Principal Researcher, CSIR
  • Reflections (10 min)
  • Moderator
    • Dr. Benson Kenduiywo - Crop Modeller at RCMRD / SERVIR E & SA

This session shall provide an opportunity for partners and SMME’s to showcase their EO activities and services. The session shall have three parts with two guest speakers, plenary sessions for partners and virtual booths that shall be run in parallel, in two batches, with each batch active for 15 minutes. Videos within the booths shall remain accessible even after the event. Exhibitors shall leave their contacts for any questions that shall not be addressed within the virtual booths.

  • Plenary
    • Session opening:
      • Dan Irwin - SERVIR Global Program Manager, NASA
      • Dr. Steven Ramage - External Relations, GEO Secretariat
    • Presentations:
      • Dr. Lynwill G Martin - Senior Scientist Cape Point Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) Station SA Weather Service
      • Dr. Audrey Hasson - GEO Blue Planet European Coordinator @ Mercator Ocean International - EU4OCEANOBS FPI
      • Prof. Dr. Zoltan Verkerdy - University of Twente (ITC)
      • Prof. Meoli Kashorda, KENET
      • Ms. Pauline Okeyo, ESRI
      • Mr. Charles Mwangi, Ag. Director, Space Sector & Technology Development, Kenya Space Agency
      • Mr. Derick Ongeri, GIS and Remote Sensing Technical Lead, LocateIT Limited
      • Mr. Rolf Becker, Director, GEODYN
  • Virtual Booths
    • Kenya Space Agency
    • Mercator Ocean International
    • Digital Earth Africa
    • GEODYN
  • Moderator
    • Ms. Vivianne Meta - Director of Business and Technical Services, LocateIT Limited

The session shall be started with a keynote talk from ITC Professor of GeoHealth and Education in the Department of Earth Observation Science, to discuss how EO has been utilized to support various Health related challenges. It will also be a learning session for EO practitioners to share experiences around the EO utilities in the health sector, which creates better integration and opportunities to support the sector as a community. The session shall also feature presentations on use of EO in managing, monitoring (hotspots), and predicting the spread of diseases (water borne, weather triggered, communicable), health resources management, health-environmental nexus and the future applications of EO in addressing holistic human health. .

  • Keynote Speech (20 min)
    • Prof. Justine Blanford, ITC Professor of GeoHealth and Education in the Department of Earth Observation Science
  • 3 Showcase Presentations (38 Min)
    • Dr. Peter Macharia - Postdoc- spatial epidemiology Lancaster University & KEMRI Wellcome Trust Research programme
    • Dr. Kiersten Johnson - Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) Team Risk Analysis Division Office of Technical and Program Quality USAID Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance
    • Dr. Halilu Shaba Ahmad - Director-General, NASDRA
  • Reflections (10 min)
  • Moderator
    • Ms. Naledzani Mudau, Remote Sensing Expert, SANSA

This shall be a 40 minutes discussion session that serves to catalyze conversations within the AfriGEO Communities of Practice, attract new members and an opportunity to know who is working on what, where and with whom. The idea is to enhance and strengthen the networks built from this session into future COP conversations, particularly to synthesize and translate the symposium’s outcomes into actions.

  • Discussion Groups (40 min)
    • COVID/Health
      • Ms. Tumisang Modiole, Department of Science and Innovati, South Africa
    • LDN/Landcover
      • Ms. Nosiseko Mashiyo, SANSA
      • Ms. Bulelwa Semoli, Director Imagery and Topographic Data, Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD), South Africa
    • Sustainable Urban Development
      • Ms. Naledzani Mudau, SANSA
    • Data and Infrastructure
      • Ms. Anastasia Wahome, RCMRD
    • Agriculture and Food Security
      • Ms. Lilian Ndung'u, RCMRD
    • Global Observation System for Mercury
      • Dr. Lynwill G Martin, Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) Station, South Africa Weather Service
    • Sustainable Forest Management
      • Dr. Aboubar Mabimba, AGEOS
    • Sustainable Water Resource Management
      • Mr. Calvince Wara, RCMRD
      • Prof. Amos Kabo-Bah, UENR

This session shall be used to showcase the value of using EO in early warning early actions systems which is key in averting the impact of risks, reducing the loss of human lives and building resilience. The session also aligns with GEO and AfriGEO priority actions in support of the Sendai Framework for disasters. The session shall focus on issues related to use of EO to assess damage and impact, socio-economic impact, early warning, new technology and innovations, and challenges (data gaps, in-situ data, accuracy and precision of EO).

  • Panel Discussion (40 min)
    • Mr. Riaan van den Dool - Lead-Geospatial Modelling and Analysis , CSIR
    • Mr. Francis Chizea - Director - Planning, Policy and Research, NASRDA
    • Dr. Safia Verjee - Innovation Lead, Kenya Red Cross Society
    • Dr. Zackaria Kuria - Senior Lecturer, University of Nairobi, Department of Earth and Climate Sciences.
    • Mr. Leon Guy Razafindrakoto - Thematic expert in Numerical Weather Prediction/Head of Weather Watch and Forecasting Department, ACMAD
    • Mr. Justin Prosper - Ministry of Agriculture, Climate Change and Energy (MACCE), Seychelles
  • Reflections (10 min)
  • Moderator
    • Dr. Wade Souleye - Researcher, Earth Sciences/Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar (IST/UCAD)

This shall be a plenary session to convey gratitude to the participants and to close the Symposium. We shall have all session moderators, excluding sessions 4 and 6, summarize key takeaways for their session in 3 minutes. The secretariat chair shall summarize the key action points and finally the closing remarks shall be given by the Caucus chair as he officially closes the symposium.

  • Closing Session and Vote of Thanks (30 min)

Industry Track

AfriGEO partners interested to make presentations (8 minutes)at the plenary session 4 (Industry Focus) taking place on 18th Nov 1420-1630 EAT) can forward their request through the secretariat PoC ( and

Interested exhibitors or demonstration providers are also requested to share a description of their intended demo with Secretariat ( and ), in no more than 200 words. The secretariat will use this description to post an overview of the demo/exhibition on the virtual platform. A virtual space will be provided where the exhibitor will make his/her demo during the time allocated for the demonstration. Exhibitions/demos may cover company profile, data, analysis methods (e.g. GEE, machine learning and artificial intelligence), new software or hardware, geospatial tools, etc. Persons running the demonstrations are highly encouraged to register with the Secretariat, and stick to the allocated time to run their demos/exhibitions (8 minutes). Recorded demonstrations which can be set to run in the virtual room with clear audio and visual content is also recommended. Please submit by intention to submit content by 29th Oct, 2021.

EO Health Showcase

Are working on using Earth Observation to address challenges related to health. We are looking for a showcase presentation in on use of EO in managing, monitoring (hotspots), and predicting the spread of diseases (water borne, weather triggered, communicable), health resources management, health-environmental nexus and the future applications of EO in addressing holistic human health.

If you are interested in making a presentation in this session, please reach out to or by the 27th September.

Who's Speaking?

Guest Speakers

Yana Gevorgyan joined GEO as Secretariat Director in July 2021. Ms. Gevorgyan is an international relations expert whose career spans humanitarian relief and development, international think tanks, and government organizations. Formerly, GEO Program Manager at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA), Ms. Gevorgyan managed the participation of the United States government in GEO and provided thought leadership to shape forward-looking strategies and policies that enable multisectoral partnerships, broad stakeholder engagement and the deserved recognition of GEO’s most valuable asset – its community.Ms. Gevorgyan is an experienced cross-cultural communicator known for building bridges between diverse communities on a global and regional scale. Her vision for the advancement of GEO is to introduce agile and innovative approaches to promote broader use of Earth observation data, technologies and knowledge for social impact. Accelerating engagement with GEO members at the national level, strategic communication for policy, economic and human impact, and collaboration across sectors and stakeholders will be key vectors in Yana’s strategy to shape the work of the GEO Secretariat and the GEO community.Ms. Gevorgyan was born and raised in Armenia, where she studied foreign languages and became involved in international development and working with underprivileged communities as a young adult. She credits this time of her life with developing a keen understanding of the power of human interaction; of authenticity, empathy and trust as the basis for enduring relationships; of the importance of commitment to a cause and the long road to get there. “Any outcome worth achieving takes commitment and perseverance. I’m at GEO with my GEO family, for the long haul – to see communities benefit from the enormous public and private investments made into science and technology.”.

Ms. Yana Gevorgyan,

Director, GEO Secretariat

Guest Speaker

Humbulani Mudau has more than 20 years technical and management experience in space science and technology specifically in Earth observation systems, remote sensing applications and geospatial technologies coupled with extensive knowledge in the development of policies, strategies and implementing programmes in those areas. Mr Mudau holds a Master’s degree in Satellite Remote Sensing from the University of Paris VI (Pierre & Marie CURIE), France. He has worked for the Chamber of Mines of South Africa, Agricultural Research Council, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Group on Earth Observations, and currently the Chief Director for Space Science and Technology at the Department Science and Innovation.

Mr. Humbulani Mudau,

Caucus Chair / Alternate Chief Director: Space Science and Technology, Dept. of Science and Innovation (DSI), South Africa

Guest Speaker

Dr. Emmanuel Nkurunziza is currently the Director General of the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) which is an intergovernmental organisation with 20 Member States in Eastern & Southern Africa. Formerly he was the Director General for Rwanda Natural Resources Authority (RNRA).

Dr. Emmanuel Nkurunziza

Director General, RCMRD/AfriGEO Secretariat(Host)

Guest Speaker

Keynote Speakers

Francois Engelbrecht is Distinguished Professor of Climatology at the Global Change Institute of the University of the Witwatersrand. He specializes in climate model development and the projection of future climate change in Africa, and leads the development of an African-based Earth System Model. Engelbrecht’s research has led to new insights into the changing temperature, rainfall and circulation patterns over the continent under anthropogenic forcing. He served as an invited Lead Author of the IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 ºC. published in 2018, and currently serves as an invited Lead Author of Assessment Report Six of the IPCC. He is an invited member of the Working Group on Numerical Experimentation of the World Climate Change Research Program (WCRP), co-chair of the World Meteorological Organisation Joint Expert Team on Earth System Implementation and a Scientific Steering Group Member of CLIVAR of the World Climate Research Programme.

Prof. Francois Engelbrecht

Director and Professor of Climatology, Global Change Institute, University of the Witwatersrand

Keynote Speaker

Ms Andiswa Mlisa is the Managing Director of Earth Observation directorate at the South African National Space Agency (SANSA). Prior to joining SANSA, she was at the Group on Earth Observation (GEO) Secretariat, based in Geneva, Switzerland, responsible for the coordination of the AfriGEOSS initiatives and capacity building. A graduate of the Universities of Fort Hare and Stellenbosch in GIS and Remote Sensing, she spent her early career years developing geospatial solutions for water resource management and disaster risk reduction. She aims to use her over 17 years of experience and passion for developing partnerships in earth observations & space applications initiatives to mainstream use of Earth observations for service delivery.

Ms. Andiswa Mlisa

Managing Director, Earth Observations, SANSA

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Justine Blanford, Professor of GeoHealth and Education in the Department of Earth Observation Science. Her research is based on theoretical geographic information science concepts where she uses GIS, big datasets, novel data and technologies along with a variety of spatial and statistical analysis methods to address broad issues related to human health risk, in relation to climate and climate change, examining causes and consequences from local to global spatial and temporal scales, and anywhere in between that is relevant to the system of study. Current projects include examining accessibility of COVID-19 vaccinations; spatial and temporal dynamics of disease risk and the role of clustering methods for evaluating risk; and the communication of travel measures during a crisis situation. She has a PhD in Biology from Imperial College, UK where she developed a model to predict when and where to use a biopesticide against agricultural pests such as locusts and grasshoppers. Prior to joining ITC, University Twente, she served on the board of directors at the UCGIS (University Consortium for Geographic Information Sciences) and was faculty at The Pennsylvania State University where she taught in the online MGIS program.

Prof. Justine Blanford

ITC Professor of GeoHealth and Education in the Department of Earth Observation Science

Keynote Speaker


Chris Funk is Director of the Climate Hazards Center (CHC) at the University of California, Santa Barbara, USA. He works with an international team of Earth scientists to inform weather and famine-related disaster responses, with particular attention to drought. In East Africa, he collaborates closely with FEWS NET, and FEWS NET regional scientists (Gideon Galu, Diriba Korecha and Christopher Shitote), RCMRD, ICPAC and the Ethiopia National Meteorological Agency. In addition to FEWS NET, Chris also supports SERVIR, Harvest, and the Crop Monitor. Chris studies climate and climate change while also developing improved data sets and monitoring/prediction systems. He has led the development of the widely used Climate Hazards InfraRed Precipitation with Stations (CHIRPS) rainfall archive and the newer Climate Hazards InfraRed Temperature with Stations (CHIRTS) product. Chris has been an author or co-author on about 180 publications. In 2020 Chris and Shraddhandand Shukla published a book on Drought Early Warning and Forecasting. In 2021 Chris published: Drought, Flood, Fire: How Climate Change Contributes to Recent Catastrophes, with Cambridge University Press. While his research interests are quite diverse, a central theme uniting Chris? work is developing both the technical/scientific resources and the conceptual frameworks that will help us cope with increasingly dangerous climate and weather extremes.

Dr. Chris Funk

Director of the Climate Hazards Center (CHC) at UC Santa Barbara


Mr Morne Gijben is a Lead Scientist in remote sensing research at the South African Weather Service, and focusses on research activities related to remote sensing, including lightning, radar, and satellite research. Mr. Gijben holds a Masters degree from the University of Pretoria and is currently enrolled for his PhD degree focussing on the improvement of thunderstorm nowcasting using artificial intelligence/machine learning with input from radar, lightning and satellite information.

Mr. Morne Gijben

Lead Scientist in remote sensing, South African Weather Service


Steven Ramage leads external relations at the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland. His role involves focusing on the interfaces between science, technology, policy and decisions in support of more than 100 UN Member States. He is on the Governing Boards of Digital Earth Africa and Digital Earth Pacific, a member of the UK Space Agency Earth Observations Advisory Committee and the Advisory Board of EO4GEO. Steven was an owner/director of 1Spatial before taking on a role as Executive Director of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), and then Managing Director of Ordnance Survey International. Steven is a Visiting Professor at the Institute for Future Cities, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (RGS). He tweets as @steven_ramage .

Dr. Steven Ramage

External Relations, GEO Secretariat


Zoltán Vekerdy is a hydrologist and remote sensing specialist, who holds the position of Senior Project Manager at the ITC Faculty of the University of Twente, Netherlands. He also works as Full Professor at the Hungarian University of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Hungary. He started his research career in the 1980s at the Water Resources Research Centre (VITUKI) in Hungary. Since the beginning, his field of interest has been the application of Earth Observation for water management, with focus on environmental and agricultural aspects. He did research on a number of wetlands around the world, including, among others, in Iran, China, Mexico, and several countries of Africa. Throughout his career, he has been supervising several young researchers at PhD and MSc levels at universities of the US, Netherlands, Hungary, and Zambia. He (co-)authored more than hundred scientific publications, including peer-reviewed articles, book chapters and scientific reports. Since 2008, as the Principal Investigator of the TIGER Capacity Building Facility and recently the EO AFRICA R&D Facility, both funded by the European Space Agency, he has been coordinating the network of several hundreds of researchers working on more than fifty Earth observation research projects in the water sector of Africa. He was also involved in several research projects in Asia, including Iran, China and Indonesia, mostly dealing with EO for water management..

Prof. Dr. Zoltan Verkerdy

University of Twente (ITC)


Dr Lynwill Martin is a senior research scientist at the South African Weather Service’s Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) station at Cape Point. He has a MSc in Environmental-Analytical Chemistry from Stellenbosch University and a PhD in Electrochemistry from the University of the Western Cape where he graduated in 2013. His research centres on long-term monitoring of greenhouse gases and atmospheric pollutants, including mercury. His work combines atmospheric models and measurements with the overarching goal of increasing fundamental understanding of the impacts of human activity and natural processes on the atmosphere. Currently he is the project coordinator of the South African Mercury Network (SAMNet), which aims to establish new monitoring stations throughout the country. SAMNet is the first coordinated mercury monitoring program in South Africa involving academia, industry, government and forms part of the Global Observation System for Mercury (GOS4M) a GEO flagship program. GOS4M aims to support the Minamata Convention on Mercury Secretariat, the UN Environment Mercury Fate & Transport Partnership and all Nations in the follow up of the Conferences of Parties (COP) related to the Effectiveness Evaluation and Global Monitoring framework. Dr Martin is also one of the co-chairs as well as the African focal point for GOS4M.

Dr Lynwill G Martin

Senior Scientist Cape Point Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) Station SA Weather Service


Audrey Hasson is the EU coordinator for the GEO Blue Planet Initiative, hosted by Mercator Ocean International as part of the EU4OceanObs FPI Action funded by the European Union. She leads the GEO Blue Planet Marine Litter Working Group. She is a physical oceanographer specialised in remote sensing of Sea Surface Salinity. She holds a PhD from the University of Toulouse and has worked as a postdoctoral researcher for the American, French and European Space Agencies (NASA, CNES and ESA). She has authored and co-authored over 15 peer-reviewed scientific papers. She has also participated in several research seagoing expeditions and has a particular interest for public outreach.

Dr. Audrey Hasson

GEO Blue Planet European Coordinator @ Mercator Ocean International - EU4OCEANOBS FPI


Pauline Okeyo is a GIS Professional with over 10 years’ experience, currently working for Esri as a Solution Engineer in Africa, where she supports Pan-African organizations, regional partners and international organizations in using Esri's solutions to achieve sustainable development across the continent. Prior to joining Esri, Pauline worked for Esri Eastern Africa as the Professional Services Manager responsible for the development and implementation of the training and services portfolio in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia, and before that in biodiversity management for the Kenya government.

Ms. Pauline Okeyo

Solution Engineer, ESRI


Derick Ongeri is a GIS and Remote Sensing Technical Lead at Locate IT Limited, a leading GeoICT company based in Nairobi, Kenya. His expertise is in the field of Geographic Information System, remote sensing, and environmental modeling. More specifically in applying geospatial data, machine learning, and cloud computing (e.g Google Earth Engine and Digital Earth Africa) to study environmental change, for proper and sustainable land and water resource management. As an advocate of open science and reproducible research, he has been involved in the development and publishing of various applications for geospatial analysis, such as Misland Platform (North Africa Land Degradation Monitoring System), Wind Erosion Susceptibility Modelling in East Africa (GMES and Africa), and Rapid Wildfire Damage Assessment tool. I have also taken part in the in the research, development and quality assessment of the ESA CCI 20m Land Cover Maps: Kenya, Gabon, Ivory Coast and South Africa and listed as a co-author in working paper Derick is an active professional member of the International Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS), the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) and the Geospatial Society of Kenya (GeoSK) where he is actively engaged and shares his skills and knowledge. .

Mr. Derrick Ongeri

GIS and Remote Sensing Technical Lead, Locate IT Limited


Charles Mwangi is the Ag. Director, Space Sector & Technology Development who is overseeing Research, Education and Outreach at the Kenya Space Agency (KSA). He represents Kenya as an alternate member of the Programme Board of the Group on Earth Observation (GEO) ( He is leading a number of projects at KSA such as the ongoing project supported by Group on Earth Observation (GEO) using Google Earth Engine platform to develop Earth Observation applications to monitor Forests, Urbanization and Floods. He is overseeing the implementation of the Research Chairs on Nanosatellite Development awarded to FIVE Kenyan Universities.Mr. Mwangi holds a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering (Control Engineering) from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture, an International Master degree on Space Mission Design and Management from University of Rome, La Sapienza and Bachelor’s degree in Technology Education (Electrical & Electronics Engineering) from Moi University. He was part of the team that developed Kenya’s first satellite (CubeSat) christened 1KUNS-PF ( launched on 11th May 2018.He has also undertaken a Postgraduate course in GIS and Remote Sensing from ITC, University of Twente in Netherlands amongst other diverse trainings on management, satellite engineering and remote sensing. He has over 18 years’ experience majorly in the public and also in the private sector.

Mr. Charles Mwangi

Ag. Director, Space Sector & Technology Development, Kenya Space Agency


Peter is interested in spatial health metrics to aid in a better understanding of health inequalities, vulnerabilities, and population health through the use of conditional autoregressive and geostatistical models. He also maps physical access, marginalization, and vulnerability indices. He has published broadly in spatial epidemiology journals. He received his PhD in spatial epidemiology from The Open University, UK, Master's in GIS & remote sensing from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya. A postgraduate diploma in health research methods from Pwani University and a BSc in Geomatic Engineering & GIS from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya. He was recently awarded the 2021 Emerging Leaders Award that recognises significant contributions in leadership and service, including mentoring and other forms of capacity building, to the fields of tropical medicine and global health.

Dr. Peter Macharia

Postdoc- spatial epidemiology Lancaster University & KEMRI Wellcome Trust Research programme


Speaker Bio.

Dr. Kiersten Johnson

Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) Team Risk Analysis Division Office of Technical and Program Quality, USAID Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance


Speaker Bio.

Dr. Halilu Shaba Ahmad

Director-General, NASDRA



Dr Sara Venturini leads GEO?s work to advance the use of Earth observations in support of climate action by UN member countries and partners. She has over 13 years' professional experience collaborating with UN bodies and advising governments and organisations on developing climate change adaptation policies, accessing climate finance, and participating in multilateral negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). As a climate change advisor, she has worked with countries in the Caribbean and Indian Ocean, the Western Balkans, Central Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. She put her scientific expertise at the service of art projects, including the film anthology ?Interdependence? that premiered at the Film Festival of Rome in 2019. She holds a PhD in Climate Change Science and Management from Ca? Foscari University of Venice, Italy.

Dr. Sara Venturini

Climate Coordinator, GEO Secretariat


Dr. Emil Cherrington is a Research Scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville’s Earth System Science Center. In that position, he also serves as the Regional Science Coordination Lead for West Africa for NASA’s SERVIR Science Coordination Office. He has been involved with the SERVIR program off and on since 2006, when he joined the SERVIR-Mesoamerica hub. In his current and earlier positions with SERVIR, he has focused on helping strengthen the application of Earth observation data, including close collaboration with members of the SERVIR-West Africa consortium such as AGRHYMET, AFRIGIST, CERSGIS, and CSE. He is also leading a SERVIR Carbon Pilot (S-CAP) pilot activity looking at how land cover datasets from the SERVIR network can be leveraged for monitoring climate change mitigation activities. Emil is an avid science communicator and in 2019 was recognized by the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center for “taking NASA public.” Emil has over seventeen years working in geographic information systems and remote sensing, and has worked at the national level with the Government of Belize, and at the regional level in Central America via work with the Water Center for the Humid Tropics of Latin America and the Caribbean (CATHALAC). He holds a double Ph.D. in forest ecology from AgroParisTech (France) and the Technische Universität Dresden (Germany).

Dr. Emil Cherrington

Regional Science Coordination Lead for Servir West Africa, NASA/SERVIR Science Coordination Office


Shanti Reddy is currently on deputation to Geoscience Australia where, as a senior manager, he is assisting with the Digital Earth Africa partnerships and strategic planning. He has more than 30 years of experience in applying Earth observation and geospatial technologies to deliver policy outcomes at national and international level. Over the past 12 years, he has been leading the geospatial and carbon modelling team at the Department of Industry, Science, Energy & Resources (DISER), Australian Government, contributing to the national GHG inventory and also domestic mitigation projects in Australia. Shanti is one of the lead authors of 2019 Refinement to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories. He has extensive experience in assisting countries in SE Asia and Africa in implementing EO data to support environmental and climate action.

Dr. Shanti Reddi

Partnerships and Strategic Planning, D E Africa Establishment Team


Yvonne Nyokabi is a climate change specialist, with ten years of experience designing and implementing climate change projects in Kenya. She has over the years provided technical assistance to Government on various aspects related to institutional capacity, Governance structures for Monitoring Reporting and Verification and strengthening of coordination mechanisms between government and non-state actors amongst others. Denoting the importance of climate finance. Yvonne has played a significant role in the mobilization of financial resources for Government and private sector from current, new, and innovative sources, mechanisms, and instruments. She has conceptualized and developed several multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral projects worth tens of millions of dollars that have catalyzed the climate change action in Kenya. She has also been involved in fostering and sustaining strategic partnerships with government, private sector and other primary beneficiaries that include local marginalized and vulnerable communities. She is currently a consultant with UNDP on climate change and SDG Impact assessments and has assignments in various countries across the African continent. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Chemistry from the University of Nairobi and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Public Policy and Management at the prestigious Strathmore Business School, Nairobi. .

Ms. Yvonne Nyokabi

Climate Change Specialist, NDC support project, UNDP


Dr. Nakalembe is an Associate Research Professor at the University of Maryland, the Africa Program Director under NASA Harvest, and a member of the NASA SERVIR Applied Sciences Team on which she serves as the Agriculture and Food Security Thematic Lead. Catherine has broad research interests and leads projects focusing on the development methods and applications of satellite remote sensing and machine learning to agriculture and food security, land use and land-use change mapping, humanitarian mapping, and climate change, and supports several capacity-building in the use of remote sensing for agriculture monitoring and research..

Prof. Catherine Nakalembe

Associate Research Professor, Dept. of Geographical Sciences, University of Maryland/ Africa Program Director, NASA Harvest


Dr. Kabo-Bah is currently an Associate Professor and Acting Dean for the International Relations Office of the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR). Formerly, he was the Head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Department for Energy and Environmental Engineering and the Earth Observation Research and Innovation Centre in the same University. At UENR, he is the Coordinator of the Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate (COSMIC-2) Programme and Advanced Fire Information System (AFIS) for West Africa; and the Ghana Carbon Programme. He is a Programme Board Member for the Group on Earth Observation (GEO); an intergovernmental organization working to improve the availability, access and use of Earth observations for the benefit of society. Under GEO programme, he is a Scientific Committee for GEO Aqua Watch Programme and Co-Chair for developing the strategic direction and implementation schedule for the GEO Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN). This initiative will assist countries, regions and others interested in addressing land degradation with monitoring and reporting necessary to implement and achieve SDG 15, “Life on Land”. He is also a Scientific Steering Committee Member for the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). He has published over 60 articles in several journals, is an Editorial Member for Oriental Journal of Chemistry (OJC), Editor for Information Technology and Engineering Section – Scientific African Journal, and an Associate Editor for the Journal of Energy and Natural Resource Management (JENRM).

Dr. Amos Kabo-Bah

Associate Professor, University of Energy and Natural Resources, Ghana


Lilian Ndungu is the Agriculture and Food Security Thematic Lead at Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD), Kenya, where she uses geospatial technology and remote sensing to design services, products and tools to address challenges in agriculture and food security. Through her work with SERVIR, Lilian develops tools and services for supporting governments and communities to make data driven decision making in agriculture. Lilian was selected as a rising star in the 2021 inaugural Geospatial World 50 Rising Stars list and she is a 2021 African Food Systems Leadership Fellow at Wageningen University.

Ms. Lilian Ndung'u

Thematic Lead Agriculture and Food Security, SERVIR E & SA


Prof Moses Azong Cho is a chief scientist at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) South Africa, the research group leader of Precision Agriculture research group and acting impact area manager (IAM) for the Advanced Agriculture Food cluster at the CSIR, and a professor with the plant and soil science department of the University of Pretoria. He holds a Ph.D. degree in hyperspectral remote sensing of vegetation from Wageningen University and the International Institute for Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation (ITC), The Netherlands; an MSc in Conservation Biology from the Greenwich University, UK and a BSc in Natural Sciences from the University of Yaoundé Cameroon. He is an NRF rated scientist, an associate editor for the International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation Science, the president of the African chapter of the International Association of Landscape Ecology (IALE) and the technical committee convenor for algorithm development and application for the African Association of remote sensing of the environment (AARSE). He has published over 100 journal and peer reviewed conference papers.

Prof. Moses Cho

Principal Researcher, CSIR


Riaan van den Dool leads the Geospatial Modelling and Analysis research group of South Africa’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). The research group focuses on wildfire risk, resilience, and information systems as well as oceans modelling and water resource optimization. He is currently responsible for the development, operation, and support of the CSIR’s Advanced Fire Information System (AFIS). The system was first launched in 2003 and is widely used by a global audience. He was responsible for the wildfire component in the Monitoring of the Environment for Security in Africa (MESA) project, an African Union project funded and supported by the European Commission. Riaan is a volunteer firefighter and Board member at the Cape Town based Volunteer Wildfire Services (VWS).

Mr. Riaan van den Dool

Lead-Geospatial Modelling and Analysis , CSIR


Dr Francis Chizea was born in Lagos, Nigeria in the year 1969. He had his primary, secondary and university education between 1974 and 1989 after which he joined the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology of Nigeria in 1992 as a Scientific Officer.He is one of the pioneer staff of the National Space Research and Development (NASRDA) of Nigeria which he joined in 1999. Dr. Chizea has held various positions at NASRDA since its establishment and has supervised/managed many strategic projects some of which include the building and launching of the Nigeriasat-1, Nigeriasat-2 and the Nigeriasat-X satellites.Dr. Chizea is presently the Director in charge of Planning, Policy and Research at NASRDA a position he has held since 2010.He holds a PhD degree in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Nigeria. Dr Chizea is a member of Faculty of the International Space University and also an alumnus of the University.He is a Corresponding Member of the International Academy of Astronautics.Dr. Chizea is also the first Vice-Chairman of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS). He is married with four children.

Dr. Francis Chizea

Director - Planning, Policy and Research, NASRDA


Speaker Bio.

Dr. Safia Verjee

Innovation Lead, Kenya Red Cross


Speaker Bio.

Dr. Zackaria Kuria

Senior Lecturer, University of Nairobi, Department of Earth and Climate Sciences.


Working at the African Center of Meteorological Application for Development (ACMAD), Niamey – Niger. Position: Thematic expert in Numerical Weather Prediction and Head of “Weather Watch and Forecasting Department”. Coordinator of the Satellite Weather Information for Disaster Resilience in Africa (SAWIDRA) project in 2017-2020, whose main outcome was the establishment of a network of four polar-orbiting meteorological satellite data receiving stations in Africa. Degree: MSc in Meteorology at the National School of Meteorology, Météo-France, Toulouse - France. Specialty: Numerical weather prediction (NWP) and weather satellite imagery. Nationality : Malagasy.

Mr. Leon Guy Razafindrakoto

Thematic expert in Numerical Weather Prediction/Head of “Weather Watch and Forecasting Department”, ACMAD


I am currently the Director of Climate Science and Data Management in the Ministry of Agriculture, Climate Change and Environment. I have more than 20 years of experience working with Geographical Information Systems (GIS), Remote Sensing and Data Management in the Seychelles. I have worked on numerous local projects pertaining to the risks and disasters associated with the effects Climate Change, especially where mapping is concerned with both local and international partners and organisations. I hold a M.Sc. in Geographical Information Science. .

Mr. Justin Paul Prosper

Ministry of Agriculture, Climate Change and Energy (MACCE), Seychelles



Dr. Ing. in Remote Sensing and Expert in Image Quality Agence Gabonaise d'Etudes et d'Observation Spatiales (AGEOS) a Gabon Space Agency .

Dr. Aboubar Mabimba

Deputy General Manager, AGEOS


Benson holds a PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering with 2 years of postdoctoral research and is currently a Crop Modeller at SERVIR. He has over 10 years’ experience offering spatial data related solutions including surveying, mapping, remote sensing, machine learning, crop modelling, and index insurance. He has worked on several projects that have contributed to agriculture and food security, conservation of forest, wind power energy distribution, land titling, road design, and greenhouse gas inventory for emissions estimates. Benson has authored over 20 peer reviewed articles, with several conference proceedings, mentored many BSc. and MSc. Students to completion, and collaborated in developing index insurance tools as packages in the R programme. So far Benson is keen at developing earth observation tools to solve agriculture and related challenges. Outside work Benson loves jogging and once in a while reading inspirational books.

Dr. Benson Kenduiywo

Crop Modeller at RCMRD / SERVIR E & SA


Ms. Vivianne Meta, is the Director of Business and Technical Services at LocateIT Limited, a Space and Geomatics company based in Nairobi, Kenya. She has vast experience in the use and application of Geographic Information Systems, Earth Observation, Surveying and GIT technologies. A Geomatics Engineering graduate, Ms. Meta is involved in managing and coordinating the execution of LocateIT’s geospatial projects including those entailing policy formulation, implementation, development, monitoring & evaluation. She is also involved in business development and as the project manager, plays an instrumental role in the implementation of flagship projects developed, conceptualised and implemented by LocateIT. She also serves as the national representative (PoC) for Kenya for the African Aeronautics and Space Organisation (AASO). Vivianne is also a member of the African Leadership Conference (ALC) on Space Science (Youth Forum) – a body concerned with promoting enabling environments for the advancements of the Space industry in Africa. Ms. Meta was in 2019 listed among the Top 10 under 30 Space professionals in Africa disrupting the space ecosystem while creating a global impact. Beyond just being a professional in the industry, Vivianne is extremely passionate about space science and attributes her motivation to the satisfaction gained from seeing communities in Africa getting transformed through the work she does, most importantly, the application of geo technologies for sustainable development initiatives. She is passionate about mentorship for youth and women, and would do just about anything to steer this space revolution globally and influence the next generation of space scientists, enthusiasts and geo-savvy community.

Ms. Vivianne Meta

Director of Business and Technical Services, LocateIT Limited


Naledzani is a remote sensing scientist at the South African National Space Agency where she leads research on the development of human settlement products and services from satellite imagery. She is a co-chair of the South Africa-GEO Human Settlement working group which promotes the use of Earth observation and geospatial technologies in government. She also co-chairs AfriGEO Sustainable urban Development and COVID-19 working groups. She also participates in EO4SGD and Human Planet GEO initiatives. She actively works with government departments and other end users including local municipalities to promote the use of Earth observation data in decision making.

Ms. Naledzani Mudau

Remote Sensing Expert, SANSA


Docteur d’Etat és Sciences (Geosciences, Remote sensing, Geohazards, 2014), PhD in Economic Geology (1985) at National High School of Geology (ENSG, Nancy, France), Geology and Mining Engineer (1978) at Moscow Institute of Geology and mineral Exploration (USSR). Joined the Institute of Earth Sciences/Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar (IST/UCAD) in 1988 as lecturer/researcher, after having worked successively as Geologist with mining and geology companies like BRGM (1978-1980) and COGEMA (1985-1986), respectively in Faleme iron ore deposits exploration campaigns and south eastern Senegal uranium prospects studies.Trained in Remote Sensing at Stockholm University (1990), as part of the United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs (UN OOSA) Training Programme « Remote Sensing Education for Educators ». Invited research visitor in 1992 at CSES (Centre for the Study of Earth from space, University of Boulder / Colorado, USA), in 1995 at the Remote Sensing Laboratory of Louis Pasteur University of Strasbourg (France), in 2000 and 2002-2003 at ESRIN Institute of the European Space Agency (Frascati, Italy).Founder of the Applied Remote Sensing Laboratory of the Institute of Earth Sciences in 2000, PI of numerous research projects on remote sensing applications in geosciences and geohazards, involving a vast network of international partners. Supervised several PhD, Masters and Engineers theses. Author of numerous scientific publications and communications.Participated, as Consultant with Landell Mills Ltd, in the identification study for the creation in South Africa of the Space Science Institute of the Pan African University (PAUSS), under the Joint Africa-EU partnership. Assigned as Peer Reviewer of international programs such as AMESD (African Monitoring of the Environment for Sustainable Development) and MESA (Monitoring for Environment and Security in Africa / Environmental Monitoring and Security in Africa), implemented under the coordination of the African Union Commission, with the support of the European Commission. General Rapporteur of the Second International Forum of MESA held in Dakar on 24-28 April 2017. Team Leader of Assessors in charge of the assessment of GMES & Africa proposals (AUC, Addis Ababa, 5-23 October 2017).AARSE Communications Manager. Founder and Chairman of the Senegalese Association of Geomatics Professionals (ASPG). Member of the Capacity Building Working Group of GEO (Group on Earth Observation). Member on behalf of AARSE of the UN COPUOS Online Observers Initiative.

Dr. Wade Souleye

Researcher, Earth Sciences/Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar (IST/UCAD)