Desert Movement Predictor and Farmabooths: Two Earth Observation Based Applications for Pan-African Development
15 Pages Posted: 27 Dec 2012
Date Written: October 4, 2012
Self-sustaining communities throughout Africa rely on local agriculture rather than external sources. Meanwhile, desertification is a widespread problem caused by a combination of human and natural factors. While desertification has consequences that directly affect agriculture, health, urban planning, and water scarcity, it is known that increasing populations, food demands, and short-term economic interests lead to the overexploitation of resources and unsustainable agricultural practices which drive soil degradation and the destruction of ecosystems. In both of these areas, developing and developed African states can greatly benefit from space-based earth observation applications. Can these earth observation applications assist countries with little or no space infrastructure? As an outcome of the Space and Africa Team Project at International Space University's 2012 Masters Program in Strasbourg, France, this paper will present two innovative applications based on earth observation, and geared towards implementation throughout Africa. The Identifying and Developing Effective Applications of Space for Africa (IDEAS for Africa) team investigated two possible earth observation applications, and using three different African countries as examples, determined how these can be used to promote development across the continent. South Africa, Morocco, and Liberia were selected not only based on their respective levels of space development, but also because they differ geographically, socially, economically, and politically. Consequently, a broad comparative analysis can be performed. Due to the dissimilarity of these three states, analogies can be drawn to other African states at comparable levels of development. The paper will shows how space and the innovations of the space industry can benefit Africa by aiding development across the continent and improving the lives and opportunities of those who live there.
Keywords: International Space University, African Development, Space Applications, Remote Sensing, Farmabooths, Desertification
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation