Monday, October 15, 2012

Journalists Trained On Geospatial Technology

About 30 journalists drawn from both print and electronic media in Ghana have participated in a day's workshop on Geospatial Science and Technology in Accra.

The event, which was organized by the Africa Media Forum for Geo-information Systems (AMFGIS) in collaboration with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the International Institute of ICT Journalism (Penplusbytes), was under the theme, "Harnessing Geospatial Science and Technology for Socio-economic Development – The Role of Ghanaian Media."

The workshop was aimed at educating journalists on the use of geospatial information in the newsroom by focusing on topics such as Introduction to Concepts of Geospatial Technologies, Case Studies of Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) Applications in Ghana with special emphasis on how to generate compelling stories.

Kwami Ahiabenu II, Co-Chair of AMFGIS, stated that "Geospatial science and technology have a lot of opportunities to stimulate Ghana's socio-economic development, and journalists have an important role to ensure increased awareness of these opportunities and the workshop is coming at a right time in this direction".

In her address, Aida Opoku-Mensah, Director of ICT and Science & Technology Division (ISTD), UNECA stated that "Africa and Ghana cannot do without the use and exploitation of geospatial technology, whether for its use in elections that ensures the accurate mapping of constituencies, or mapping disease-prone areas for decision-making, as well as assessing the environmental impacts of mining, oil exploration.

She noted that the main challenge is to get decision-makers to understand the strategic importance of surveying, mapping, GIS, Global Positioning System (GPS), earth satellite observation and other forms of geospatial technology for proper and effective development planning.

"It's high time we got politicians, legislators and planners having a holistic approach to the use of technology to countries' advantage," Ms Opoku-Mensah emphasized.

AMFGIS seeks to promote collaboration, information and knowledge sharing on geospatial information, science and technology issues and its impact on the country's socio-economic development.

By Esther Awuah

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