Prof Anthony J. Rodrigues, Director ICT, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology, Kenya
Topic: National Spatial Data Infrastructure and Sustainable Development: A Kenyan Perspective
World leaders adopted Agenda 21, the work program of the 1992 U.N. Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro. The land-mark event provided a political foundation and action items to facilitate the global transition toward sustainable development. Ten years later one of the contributions to the World Summit on Sustainable Development held in South Africa, August 2002, was the “Geographic Information for Sustainable Development” project.
In many developing countries common concerns on geospatial data custody have been, ownership, rights, cost, what format the data is stored and managed. The trend towards mitigating these concerns has been to move one level up to the Meta level made possible through technology. At this level data can be managed at source, while providing open standards based access. While both government and society recognize the value of geospatial data, its effective use is inhibited by poor knowledge of the existence of data, poorly documented information about the data sets, and data inconsistencies. Once created, geospatial data may be used by a multitude of government ministries and departments for different purposes. Given the dynamic nature of geospatial data in a networked environment, metadata is therefore an essential requirement for locating, evaluating and using available data. However, despite attempts to jump start the process Kenya does not have a National Spatial Data Infrastructure to date. The metadata model as presented in this paper should be refined and completed through a consultative process to be part of the SDI agreed framework for metadata development in Kenya. Future work will also be necessary to validate the model in specific user communities and at different levels of SDI.
Kenya’s nano satellite – 1KUNS-PF –was launched into outer space in Japan on Friday, 11th May 2018.The University of Nairobi, in collaboration with “Sapienza” University of Rome‘s Aerospace Research Centre worked to develop a CubeSat . It uses NASA’s Terra Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) which the remote sensing unit at the “Luigi Broglio Space Centre” on Kenya’s North coast is capable of handling. The urgent completion of Kenya’s National Spatial Data Infrastructure is necessary for the efficient and effective use of the 1KUNS-PF data for sustainable development vide an integrated Geographic Information System. Initial agreements between Kenya and Italy for the running of the Italian space centre were crafted in such a way that Kenya only received rent for hosting the facility. However, these fifteen year agreements have since been renegotiated leveraging Kenya’s fledgling space science ambitions.
Prof Anthony J. Rodrigues is currently a professor of Computer Science & Director ICT at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology. He holds a PhD and his current research interest is in Scientific Computation, Approximation Theory, Modelling & Simulation, Informatics Policy, Waste Biomass to Briquettes Conversion. He has supervised several PhD and MSc students. He has served as an editor for several book publications namely: At the Crossroads: ICT Policy Making in East Africa 2005 IDRC ISBN 9966-25-439-0, ISBN 1-55250-219-8 (IDRC e-book): Managing Editor: International Journal of Computing & ICT Research 2006-2009 ICT for Sustainable Development Track. Joint Editor: Strengthening the Role of ICT in Development 2007 Vol III, ISBN 978-9970-02-730-9. : 2008 Vol IV .
Other engagements include: Consultancy; Twenty eight (28) for range of Institutions: World Bank (2), UNESCO, UNEP, Commonwealth Secretariat, ECA, IDRC, Gov. of Mauritius, Gov of Kenya, KRA, Public Univ. Inspections Board ; Research /Capacity Building Projects: World Bank, ODA , IDRC , UNESCO, NACOSTI, USAID funding totaling US$5,500,000; Software Development/Project Management: Joint Admissions Board (JAB) System- Kenya, HELB system, Integrated MIS Univ of Mauritius; Professional Reports: Thirty two (32) Bidding Documents, Operational Requirements; Technical & Financial Evaluation ; Commissioning; etc