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AFRIGIST key to unlocking prosperity of Africa- Fashola


The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, says African Regional Institute for Geospatial Information Science and Technology (AFRIGIST) is key to unlocking the prosperity of Africa.

Fashola said this when the Executive Director of AFRIGIST, Dr. Adewale Akingbade, and his team paid him a courtesy visit on Tuesday in Abuja.

Also in the team was the Surveyor-General of the Federation, Mr. Samuel Taiwo.

Fashola said the importance of the institute could not be overemphasized because of the critical role the organization plays in terms of data generation and management.

“Apart from being important as an African asset in terms of its status and image and core mandate its Geospatial scientific and technological information has become critical for the engagement of the future by human civilization.

“The world is depending more on data and generating more data than it has ever done in the entire human existence.

“From warfare to healthcare, aviation, trade, geospatial scientific information are converging more than ever.

“The only thing keeping us is geospatial information in terms of coordinate data and satellite imagery to plot the way, the world is moving and Africa cannot be left behind,” Fashola said.

He said there would be a collaboration with the institute in terms of security challenges confronting the country, adding that he just tried to get approval to bring in vehicles to do area surveillance for Lagos-Abidjan Highway.

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He said this corridor connects Nigeria-Seme border-Togo-Ghana-Ivory Coast that is the first phase.

“The next phase of which we successfully complete has we linked the road to Senegal, Dakar creating another trans-African Highway.

He said the institute was also key in identifying every inch of real estate and putting the fullest possible premium on our real estate assets.

“I could not overemphasis the importance of this agency having regard to the free trade adaption to African states.

He, therefore, pledged his support to the institute and called on the Surveyor General to look into what the committee requires and come up with recommendations.

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Speaking earlier, Akingbade, while congratulating the minister on his reappointment said the country had performed well over the past five years in meeting its financial obligations to the institute.

He said one of the reasons for the visit was to solicit the support of the minister toward meeting the developmental goals of the member states.

Speaking on the areas of collaboration with the country as its host, he said the institute had helped in training security agencies, adding that security was a major thing to be addressed.

“We can do this using the UAV which can give real-time information of what is coming in and going out of the country.

“Also in the area of housing deficit, GIS can actually show us areas of deficit, also in areas of precision in crop production.

“It is used to get the most appropriate soil for the most appropriate crop,” Akingbade said.

NAN reports that AFRIGIST was established in 1972 under the auspices of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).
It is to serve as an educational solution institute that trains highly skilled manpower in geospatial information science and technology.

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