Cloud Computing & Big Data

Cloud computing, with its related applications and services, and big data have emerged as the key defining trend in information technology during the current decade. This trend has launched a new industry that counts amongst its members the most profitable companies in the global economy. Cloud computing services and big data analytics have become pervasive in international business, government services and research throughout the world, except in West Africa where it remains relatively unappreciated, mistrusted, expensive and thus, underutilized. As a result, the information divide between West Africa and the rest of the world has grown and threatens to continue doing so as long as steps are not taken to bring the region up to a level at which it is able to take advantage of the opportunities cloud computing present.

Until a harmonization of the opportunities and challenges of cloud computing are achieved and the opportunities of big data analytics are appreciated, West Africa’s engagement with the rest of the world will be increasingly limited, with the effects of isolation from emerging science and technology, missed opportunities for sustainable development, and slowed economic growth. SERVIR West Africa will initiate a dialogue between end-users, decision-makers and industry leaders in a dialogue aimed at mapping out a strategy to take advantages of the opportunities presented by cloud computing and big data (CCBD), while overcoming the challenges of broad adoption across the region.


SERVIR WA will bring together a group of West African leaders from government, the private sector, academia, and the development community over a three-day period as a special conference track during AGDIC to meet with their counterparts from the United States and Europe during a three-day forum to:

  • Describe the state of the art of cloud computing and the opportunities offered to West Africa’s economic development and advancement of science
  • Discuss the challenges to broad adoption of cloud computing and steps to be taken in addressing these challenges
    • Identify minimal infrastructure and skills required to take advantage of big data and cloud computing, and compare these to existing capabilities in the region
    • Outline steps to be taken at a regional level to advance the application of cloud computing in the region.
  • Describe the opportunities and challenges of big data analytics in the West Africa context.
    • Present the infrastructural and policy context of big data analytics in the region
    • Show case on concrete tools, applications of Big data and cloud computing in the context of sustainable development and the SERVIR service areas;
    • Showcase the integration of Big Data with Geospatial analysis;
    • Create linkages between cloud service providers and end-users for future engagement.


  • Increased awareness among decision-makers, the scientific community and the private sector within the region of the current state and means of use of cloud computing and big data analytics, the choices available in terms of architecture, and future trends;
  • Improved understanding on the part of cloud service providers of the regional context of IT, internet access, and other factors affecting delivery and uptake of cloud computing;
  • Agreed action plan to promote the adoption of cloud computing and big data analytics regionally among the various sectors of society as well as enabling greater public engagement in access and exchange of information.
  • A core team from the SERVIR WA consortium and AGDIC conferees trained in the principles of AI/ML with direct application to the development of geospatial services.
  • Increased regional awareness of SERVIR WA among experts and officials.
  • Increased synergies between SERVIR WA and regional initiatives.


22 October: Cloud Computing—Emerging Paradigm

AGDIC Plenary

11:00-11:55 BREAK & EXHIBIT VISIT  

Opening Keynotes: USAID and NASA
Discussion of Objectives and Agenda

Amma Abgoye
Amadou Dieye

13:20-14:20 LUNCH  

Applications of Cloud Computing & Big Data in the region

Francisco Delgado-Olivares

23 October: Cloud Computing—Challenges to adoption

AGDIC Plenary

10:30-11:00 BREAK & EXHIBIT VISIT  

Panel Discussion on Opportunities: Users, Decision-Makers & Service Providers

Glory Enaruvbe

13:00-14:00 LUNCH  

Regional Challenges for Adoption of Cloud-Based Services

Foster Mensah

24 October: Develop LULC Harmonization Roadmap

AGDIC Plenary

10:30-11:00 BREAK & EXHIBIT VISIT  

Summary Session: Challenge & Opportunities Matrix
Power & Interest Matrix
Validating the Theory of Change

Amma Abgoye
Moussa Sayou

13:00-14:00 LUNCH  

Draft of findings for Plenary

Amadou Moctar Dieye
Bako Mamane