Mr. Mathias Bazirinkangu Kabunduguru, the Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Developmentin Tanzania visited RCMRD on May 22, 2019. The Deputy PS was accompanied by Ms. Elizabeth Mrema an Assistant Director, Department of Lands MLHHSD, Tanzania. The Deputy Principal Secretary chaired a technical session where briefing was done on the background of the RCMRD, operations and activities of the various sections and activities that RCMRD has executed in Tanzania. He was updated on the establishment of RCMRD in 1975 as Centre of Excellence on Geo-Information and ICT by the African Union (AU) and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and that presently there are 20 contracting member Countries in Eastern and Southern Africa Region.
Mr. Vincent Mtaroni the Principal GIS & Cartographic Officer (Ag. Director Technical Services) in his presentation showcased the RCMRD service profile describing it as Capacity Development, Project implementation, Advisory Services, research development and innovation, repair service and calibration of mapping equipment and data/information dissemination. He also listed the RCMRD thematic areas as Agriculture & Food Security; Weather and Climate Change Modelling/Analysis, Water Resources Management; DRR, Land Resources Management; Land Administration/Management and Knowledge Management.
He said capacity building in various areas of our expertise were Academic (fundamental /basic), Applied and Tailor made. RCTI was mentioned as special vehicle to supplement member State contributions and carried out certificates/diplomas in Land surveying, photogrammetry, GIS and IT. Other ongoing initiatives which are being carried out included: AFREF (https://www.rcmrd.org/apps-data/afref-and-geodesy),SERVIR-ESA (https://www.rcmrd.org/projects/servir-esa), NELGA (https://www.rcmrd.org/projects/nelga-land-web-portal-data-repository) BIOPAMA (https://www.rcmrd.org/projects/biopama) AfriGEO (http://www.earthobservations.org/afrigeoss.php). The DPS made recommendation that courses conducted should be tailor made taking cognisance of the capacities of targeted staff. This should be clear in invitation letters. He also advised RCMRD to continue striving to be a centre of excellence and partner even with the private sector to be in better position to support member States.
Through the Lands Department RCMRD was asked to support/sensitize member States on the procurement function with the ministry to make technical decisions with regard to equipment/hardware/software acquisition. It was agreed that RCMRD should purpose to carry out needs assessment to identify gaps/wants of the ministry as well as departments within the ministry such as lands and planning and thus develop programmes to address these gaps. This should have internal introspection (Where are they?, what do they need? ) with main target as Mapping, Surveys and town planning department.
The technical session was followed by a tour of project rooms, laboratories and premises including the construction site. The DPS was shown how the photogrammetry lab functions.
The DPS indicated his willingness to support initiatives geared to increasing the visibility of RCMRD in Tanzania across the thematic areas described. He also informed RCMRD's Management on the high-level government forum which happens weekly for PS & DPS executives chaired by the Chief Secretary. RCMRD Director General Dr. Emmanuel Nkurunziza and the Management team at RCMRD were invited to make presentation in Quarter 3 of 2019 on te following proposals to support Tanzania: Census Cartography Mapping, Crime Assessment & Geo-Policing, Health Availability Mapping, Upgrading Photogrammetry services of the Lands Department, Development of Web mapping portals and data/dissemination services, design testing and development of Land Management Systems.
It was agreed that RCMRD would provide tailor-made courses in all thematic areas, design and instal GEO-IT systems, conduct topographic Map Updating, develop and institutionalise geodetic reference systems and for RCMRD to develop a policy dossier for pitching in Tanzania. Other issues included challenges facing the centre including remittances of membership fees, high turnover in executive and senior staff in member State agencies, Increasing linkages with senior staff in members States line ministries, extending relationships with other ministries in member States governments which can benefit from services of the Centre and identification of development agencies active in member States.
In attendance was: Mr. Mathias Kabunduguru Deputy Permanent Secretary MLHHSD Tanzania, Ms. Elizabeth Mrema Assistant Director, Department of Lands MLHHSD, Tanzania, Dr. Emmanuel Nkurunziza Director General RCMRD, Mr. Mitchum Galafa Human Resource & Administration Officer RCMRD, Mr. Vincent Mtaroni GIS Officer (Ag. Director Technical Services) RCMRD, Mr. Byron Anangwe Business Development & Marketing Officer (Ag. Director Common Services) RCMRD, Dr. Robinson Mugo SERVIR-ESA Project Manager RCMRD, Ms. Dorah Nesoba Communications Expert SERVIR-ESA/RCMRD, Mr. Dennis Macharia SERVIR-ESA Climate Change & Disaster Management Thematic Lead RCMRD, Mr. Joseph Murage Monitoring & Evaluation Officer SERVIR-ESA/RCMRD Mr. Josephat Makanga Photogrammetry Officer RCMRD, Mr. Anthony Kimani Accountant RCMRD, Mr. Julius Gichohi Training Coordinator RCTI/RCMRD Mr. Degelo Sendabo Remote Sensing Officer RCMRD. In closing the DPS thanked the Director General, staff and management for the warm reception accorded to him and Ms. Mrema as well as for the support extended to Tanzania over the past years. He assured the RCMRD management of the support of his office towards increased collaboration and linkages within Tanzania.