Digital Farming for Food Security

Agriculture and agro-industries is backbone for Africa for economy and employment. Growing population is placing greater demand for food resources, rising urbanization is putting a constant stress on available land resources for farming. This session will explore how digital farming based on geo-information and location-based technology can help improve current farming practices and processes.

Creating an enabling environment for the co-development of localized data-driven agriculture services

Making data, whether it is open or closed data, work for agriculture is not just a matter of publishing it and making it available for further use. In order to support farmers and provide farm management advice or to inform agro-industries, heterogeneous and often spatiotemporal data (e.g. soil data, weather data, crop data) need to be combined to provide added value for the agricultural sector. Moreover, this process requires the application of expert knowledge, intelligent algorithms and models, and the expertise in applying and combining different standards to process data. Information and service intermediaries, operating between data publishers and end users often fulfill this important role in the data value chain. It is therefore essential that the possible mechanisms behind this process, and its drivers and barriers are known and can be influenced to achieve better impact. This session provides an opportunity for participants to learn from various data-driven initiatives and projects in the sector of agriculture. The idea is to share best practices and look at what the future of agriculture could look like in Africa.

Accelerating country policies on open data for food and agriculture in Africa

Open data is data that anyone can access, use and share. It helps to shape solutions to problems that would otherwise be expensive, time intensive or impossible to solve using closed data sources. Open data fosters discoveries, innovation and collaboration among government, business, and civil society, and is a powerful tool in a global economy which is increasingly information driven. Opening up data for agriculture holds promise across the whole agricultural value chain, including benefits such as: empowering farmers; optimising agricultural practices; supporting agri-finance; promoting coordination and efficiency in value chains; enforcing policies; and enhancing government transparency and efficiency. This session will gather public and private sector actors from across the open data value chain, focussing on policy and decision makers interested in evidence for policy making and sustainable agriculture. The session will discuss MoFA’s strategy for advancing policy on open data for food and agriculture in Ghana and consider short to medium term needs within both Ghana and other African countries.

Natural Resource Management

Natural resources, such as mineral resources, forest resources, aquatic resources, are a precious wealth of Africa. Their efficient management and use is critical to meeting the requirements of growing populations, as well as development activities. Technologies such as geospatial technology, be it satellite imagery, map based platforms like GIS, drone/LiDAR based surveying etc, have proven to be an increasingly indispensable tool in effectively managing and monitoring such resources.


It is well known that mineral resources are a precious wealth of Africa, and Mining is an important economic activity for Africa. Being limited resources, their efficient management and use is critical to meeting the requirements of growing populations, as well as development activities. Technologies such as geospatial technology, including satellite imagery, map based platforms like GIS, drone/LiDAR based surveying etc, are playing an important role in mining and mineral resource management across the entire lifecycle. This session will explore some such applications of geospatial technology.

Urban Planning

This session will highlight how urban planning stakeholders in Africa are using geodata / geospatial technology/mapping across various aspects of urban planning. Emerging economies across Africa are witnessing fast urbanization and the civic bodies are challenged for efficient planning and meeting the requirements of growing populations. Geospatial based planning has been proven to be a critical decision support system across the world. This session aims to bring together the diverse stakeholders of technology adoption in urban planning – the public sector, technology experts, the project managers, other domain stakeholders for deliberations on maximizing technology adoption and benefits. The session will have emphasis on geoinformation/location enablement of aspects like town planning, habitation, citizen services, transportation, public works, disaster resilience, telecommunication.

Water, Wastewater, Sanitation

The critical need to address issues pertaining to water supply, wastewater and sanitation, most notably in developing economies like Africa is well documented. These are the most basic aspects of lives of human beings. Yet much needs to be done to improve efficiencies and services in these sectors. Enabling technologies like Geo-ICT have an important role to play as decision support system to ensure effective planning, implementation and maintenance of services. This session will bring together public and private stakeholders for presentations and discussions on geo-ICT adoption in this sector and maximizing its benefits.

Internet Governance: Community Networks, Spectrum, Electricity And Inclusion

With nearly half of the world population offline, there has been calls to radically shift the public policy thinking and internet infrastructure deployment to meet the needs of the vulnerable, marginalised and economically deprived in our communities. One of the approaches evidenced is to connect many people is that of community led, owned and maintained networks.

This session aims to bring together a diverse set of people on the panel and audience to seek ways of enriching and deepening this approach across various communities in Africa through business models, energy, policy and regulation, financing and technical training interactions.

Africa Regional Data Cube

Africa is facing many changes that are having an impact on agriculture and food security. Floods, droughts, and other natural disasters have become challenges to governments presenting devastating impacts on food availability, accessibility, and hunger. Traditional satellite data has been difficult to access and use by many countries, and if in an analysis-ready format, it offers many benefits to address these pressing challenges. Through CEOS, the GPSDD and a number of additional partners, the Africa Regional Data Cube (ARDC) was launched in May 2018 to provide data cube capabilities for the pilot countries of Ghana, Kenya, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Tanzania. To address the additional demand across the continent and provide operational capabilities, Digital Earth Africa, which will learn from and leverage the work of the ARDC, is now being established as a free and open data infrastructure to support key challenges for countries across Africa.