IGN FI invited to debate on the issues associated with a French spatial policy to help development

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The IRD1, CNES2, IGN FI  and Cirad4 jointly organised an event during the Toulouse Space Show on June 30th 2016 called "Observation of land in Africa, the issues for development".

IGN FI, as well as several other private companies alongside various public entities, were able to show the potential of spatial observation in Africa by presenting the applications linked to resource management (biodiversity, water, soils, fishing, etc.) and territories.

Representatives from the IRD, AFD, CNES and IGN FI then debated on the issues surrounding a French spatial policy to help development.


Representatives from the IRD, AFD5CNES and IGN FI then debated on the issues surrounding a French spatial policy to help development.

The presentations and debate highlighted the availability of spatial data and the quality of work already carried out, but also the importance of developing reliable applications that are adapted to the needs of African deciding parties and take into account the diversity of the situations that exist. Priority themes must also be chosen and efforts concentrated on these areas.

The participants (funding bodies, research entities and private parties) all showed interest in bringing together their approaches in order to create a French spatial policy to support development, in partnership with Europe and the various African entities working in the field. The main areas of work that have been identified are reinforcing skills, developing applications and encouraging their ownership by African partners.

Christophe Dekeyne, General Director of IGN FI stresses that "in order to distinguish itself from others, the French approach must reply to the real issues faced by African nations at present: optimising the use of water resources, developing irrigation and agricultural zones in certain countries, optimising and preserving natural resources for others, preventing natural risks for virtually everyone, and in each case spatial imagery can provide help for developing these areas.

Both participants and organisers have agreed to draft the outline of a strategy to create this French spatial policy to help development by September time. This strategy will then be presented and discussed with African partners during a workshop which will take place in Western Africa in Spring 2017.

"Observation of land in Africa, the issues for development" (Toulouse Space Show - 30th June 2016): download the presentations given.

The press release

1 IRD: Institute of Research into Development

2 CNES: National Centre of Spatial Studies

3 IGN FI: the export branch of the National Institute for Geographic and Forestry Information

4 CIRAD: Centre of Agronomic Research for Development

5 AFD: French Agency for Development assistance