Kenya is hosting a two-day high level meeting on data for development in Africa. The event is co-hosted by the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, the Governments of Kenya and Sierra Leone in collaboration with the African Development Bank, the UN Economic Commission for Africa, and the Governments of Ghana, Senegal, and Tanzania. Safaricom is also co-hosting the meeting.
Professor John Kiema, Director of Technical Services, the Regional Centre for Mapping Resource for Development (RCMRD) and Dr. Robinson Mugo, who is chief of party and Project Manager for the SERVIR Eastern and Southern Africa hub are representing RCMRD. Prof. Kiema spoke during the session on Data for Agriculture, Livelihoods and Economy that covers using faster, better, more granular and real time data to inform agriculture policy, increase revenue and strengthen food security. His co-session speakers were Hon. Willy Bett, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Kenya; Hon. Mohamed Alie Bah Minister of State, Vice President’s Office, Sierra Leone; Aboubacar Beye, Director General, National Agency of Statistics and Demography, Senegal and Andiswa Mlisa, Scientific & Technical Officer, Group on Earth Observations.
With the theme of “Unleashing The Power of Data and Partnerships Across Africa,” this high-level event will amplify the voices of African governments, regional bodies, private sector, and civil society partners across the region and the world, to ensure that data becomes part of the infrastructure for sustainable development, while showcasing the new partnerships, projects, and institutions that are leading the way. The focus was on developing the data infrastructure to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and showing how data partnerships can drive outcomes in different sectors.
The meeting is aimed at demonstrating how data innovation can improve lives in the continent in line with the sustainable development agenda of 2030. This event will amplify the voices of African governments, regional bodies, private sector and civil society partners across the region and the world, to ensure that data becomes part of the infrastructure for sustainable development, while showcasing the new partnerships, projects and institutions that are leading the way.
Among the day one speakers were to include William Samoei Ruto, Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya; Hon. Vice President, Ambassador Dr. Victor Bockarie Foh of the Republic of Sierra Leone; Amadou BA, Minister of Economy, Finance and Planning of the Republic of Senegal and Hon. George Gyan-Baffour, Minister of Planning, Ghana.
Day two will reflect on the outcomes and commitments of day one and a featured showcase and networking session will explore tools, technologies, and methodologies to drive data for development in Africa.
Dr. Claire Melamed the Executive Director, Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data chaired the welcome and opening remarks session.
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Spatial planning describes how space is created and arranged and provides blueprints to organize development. It’s a method of ensuring an orderly distribution of people and activities in a settlements spatial system. Spatial planning takes place at local, regional, national and trans-national levels and results in creation of a spatial plan.
County spatial plans provides a spatial vision that guides long term spatial development of the counties. The plans provide an important framework for efficient, productive and sustainable use of land as advocated for in both in the Kenyan Constitution and National Land Policy. These plans provide strategies and policies to facilitate sustainable exploitation of potential in the counties and reduce inequality; and a platform for prioritization of programmes and projects with their implementation mechanisms.
In this regard, RCMRD conducted a five-day ‘County Spatial Planning: Formulation, Implementation, Financing, Monitoring and Evaluation of Spatial Development Frameworks’ training in Juja, Kenya from 3 – 7 July 2017. The main objective of the training was providing additional technical information and skills in designing and implementing effective development policies and plans with specific focus on Kenya county spatial plans, among other county and national plans. The training targeted senior county planners and other technical officers involved formulating, implementing and monitoring county spatial plans.
The Centre for International Training and Executive Development (CITED) recently conducted a three day training course for RCMRD staff. Prof. Dr.-Ing. John Bosco Kyalo Kiema the Director, Technical Services at the RCMRD gave key note remarks noting that this was the third training this year for RCMRD staff. “I am happy that we are having this training on project management that will ostensibly equip our staff skills to implement projects effectively and efficiently.”
He reminded staff that the RCMRD aspires to be a premier centre of excellence in the provision of geo-information for sustainable development in the 20 member States and beyond and thus the way in which staff implement projects should be outstanding. “Even as we make demands to staff to produce better results, management has a responsibility to train and equip staff with adequate skills,” he added, knowledge and skills acquisition are important. “I have never seen or heard of someone who has constipated on knowledge. Engage with the facilitators and improve your skills and manage projects effectively and efficiently.”
The three day course provided an introduction to the principles and skills of effective project management. It took participants through the stages of the life cycle of a project from initiation to completion and evaluation. It was intended for staff who have a clear remit to achieve specific objectives with clearly-defined start and end points, which are separate from ongoing day-to-day activities. The range and scale of projects that participants manage may be wide.
The objectives were to enable staff be aware of what a project is; appreciate the role of the project manager; identify the basic principles and techniques of project management; apply techniques of project planning, scheduling; budgeting and risk assessment. The training also emphasized the need for project communication throughout the project life cycle. It also focused on identifying the project stakeholders and understanding ways of managing the relationship with them at different points of the project life cycle. Mary Nderi, Marietta Stephen & Leonard Nyamai were the facilitators for the three days (July 12 to 14). Staff received certificates of participation after successfully completing the three day course. See photos here
This article is written by Dorah Nesoba (Communications and Outreach Expert at RCMRD/SERVIR E&SA)
Photo credits: Gerald Omondi, Webmaster, RCMRD
Dr. Emmanuel Nkurunziza, RCMRD Director General delivered a keynote speech at the ongoing Eastern Africa Land Administration Network (EALAN) conference held in Nairobi, Kenya. Dr. Nkurunzinza’s speech focused on land administration and governance in the Eastern Africa region, including opportunities and challenges. He stated the importance of land in all aspects of human life. He further emphasized RCMRD’s commitment in supporting and advancing proper land administration and governance agenda. “As RCMRD we’ll champion this cause & engage with everyone in this field to advance the agenda”, he asserted.
Although there have been initiatives taken at national and international levels to improve land administration and governance, there are still numerous challenges. In this regard, EALAN is holding a conference themed “Promoting Land Administration and Governance for Sustainable Development in Eastern Africa” to examine and address some of these challenges. EALAN was established with a view of creating a platform for knowledge and experience exchange for provision of quality services to achieve reliable land policies and governance.
See photos here
Read more at EALAN