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Journal Articles Surveys in Geophysics Year : 2022

Enhancing the Uptake of Earth Observation Products and Services in Africa Through a Multi-level Transdisciplinary Approach

Chinwe Ifejika Speranza
  • Function : Author
Felicia Olufunmilayo Akinyemi
  • Function : Author
Jérôme Benveniste
  • Function : Author
Natalie Ceperley
  • Function : Author
Fatima Driouech
  • Function : Author
Jörg Helmschrot
  • Function : Author

Abstract

Africa stands to gain from Earth Observation (EO) science, products and applications. However, its use and application remain below potential on the continent. This article examines how EO can better serve the needs of African users. First, we argue that a successful uptake of EO services is conditional on understanding the African context and matching EO development and deployment to it. Using reference cases, we find that actors outside Africa drive most EO initiatives, whereas country-level expenditures on EO remain low. Recent developments, such as the African space policy and strategy, and initiatives in partnerships with Africa-based organisations to develop a community of practice on EO hold the potential to fill the identified gaps. The analysis indicates that most EO users are either government organisations or researchers, with very few cases involving other types of users. It is generally assumed that users at the local levels are educated and digitally literate, or that the transmission of EO-based knowledge is achieved by government officers and researchers. Although still very few, potentials are emerging for the private sector to deploy EO products and services such as crop or index-based insurance directly to farmers. These private initiatives have prospects for further developing indigenous EO capacity as envisioned in the African space policy and strategy. We then formulate recommendations for a transdisciplinary approach that integrates user contexts, attributes and needs to enhance the uptake of EO products and services in Africa. We conclude by proposing actions to close some of the identified gaps and seize emerging opportunities.
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insu-03867005 , version 1 (23-11-2022)

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Chinwe Ifejika Speranza, Felicia Olufunmilayo Akinyemi, David Baratoux, Jérôme Benveniste, Natalie Ceperley, et al.. Enhancing the Uptake of Earth Observation Products and Services in Africa Through a Multi-level Transdisciplinary Approach. Surveys in Geophysics, 2022, ⟨10.1007/s10712-022-09724-1⟩. ⟨insu-03867005⟩
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