RCMRD today welcomed two State Ministers from the Republic of Uganda. The two, Hon. Dr. Chris Baryomunsi and Hon. Isaac Musumba, Ministers of State, Urban Planning and Housing, Republic of Uganda toured the Centre, where they interacted with the staff and witnessed the different activities taking place.
On February 21, 1975, Uganda was the first signatory to the Agreement establishing the Regional Centre for Services in Surveying and Mapping (RCSSM) now RCMRD. They signed the agreement which was open for signature “by the High Contracting Parties at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Kenya, Nairobi between the first day of October 1974 and the thirty-first day of January 1975 and shall thereafter remain open for signature by any State which qualifies to become a Contracting Party to the Agreement according to Article XV (15) of the agreement.
Uganda was represented by Hon. Lt. Colonel Minister of Land and Water Resources E.W. Otyema. On March 7, 1975, Kenya was the second signatory to the agreement represented by Hon. Jackson Harvester Angaine the Minister for Lands and Settlement and Malawi was the third State signing on March 19, 1975 and represented by T. J. K Mkwamba the Malawi High Commissioner to Kenya.
According to Article XVI (16) on Entry into force of the agreement, “This Agreement shall enter into force 30 days after the date of signature by the third State. It shall enter into force for each State which subsequently signs it 30 days after the date of such signature.” The Centre was therefore established on April 18, 1975 after Malawi signed the agreement. Other early signatories included Tanzania on May 12, 1975 through an Instrument of Accession and Somalia through Ibrahim Elini Ghelle the Director of Cartographic Directorate on May 13, 1975.
During their visit they toured RCMRD facilities and in particular the following offices: Remote Sensing Lab; Geo Information Services (GIS) and Monitoring for Environment and Security in Africa (MESA) GIS/MESA lab; Data office; Engineering Workshop; the SERVIR Eastern and Southern Africa project and the Information Technology Training Centre (ITTC).
They praised the important services RCMRD was providing to the 20 contracting member States and the six Affiliated States: Angola, Djibouti, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Eritrea, Mozambique and Madagascar.
They assured the RCMRD staff of continued support by the Council of Ministers to enable RCMRD achieve its mission. Data from the satellite is useful in land observation, land use and change detection, providing support in generating land cover classes, disaster relief support, climate change monitoring, among other applications.
Their visit was preceded by a visit from Mrs. Dorcas W. Okalany, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Lands Housing and Urban Development, Republic of Uganda and a member of the RCMRD Governing Council on Tuesday, 9th May 2017.
The current contracting member States are: Botswana, Burundi, Comoros, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somali, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Affiliated States are: Angola, Djibouti, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Eritrea, Mozambique and Madagascar.
Content for this article provided by Dorah Nesoba (Communications and Outreach Expert, RCMRD/SERVIR Eastern & Southern Africa).
Photo Credits: Gerald Omondi, RCMRD Webmaster