Chairman of the African Regional Institute for Geospatial Information Science and Technology (AFRIGIST) Governing Council, Mr. Alain Sourou Kiki has appealed to the Nigerian Government to organize a Ministerial Meeting that would give directives for a more impactful contribution of the Institute for resolution of challenges confronting African states.
Mr. Kiki who made the appeal during a courtesy call on the Minister of Works and Housing, Fashola Raji Babatunde in Abuja recently says, “It will be a such high-level meeting, which will allow you and your colleagues from other member-states to take stock of the achievements of the Institute and also give directives for an even more impactful contribution to the resolution of the challenges in our nations.”
The chairman disclosed that over 3,000 personnel from 29 African countries have been so far trained in AFRIGIST. The Institute according to Kiki was for training of different categories of personnel from technician level to Master of Science adding that the Institute has launched a PhD programme in collaboration with the University of Abomey Calavi in Republic of Benin.
He expressed appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari and the various authorities of the Nigerian Government for financial support for recurrent budget and physical development of the Institute, situated at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State.
AFRIGIST according to the chairman was a bilingual intergovernmental organization comprising 8 countries; Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Nigeria, the host country with a mission to contribute to rapid sustainable development of member-states in particular and Africa in general through the development of critical capacity for timely delivery and response use of appropriate geospatial information.
The Institute formerly known as Regional Centre for Aerospace Survey Training (RECTAS) was established in October 1972 under the auspices of the United Nations Economic for Africa (UNECA.) It would be celebrating its 50 years of existence by the coming October with the commissioning of a new administrative complex and health facilities funded by the Nigerian Government.
It has the Surveyor General of the Federation as the First Representative of the Nigerian Government on its governing council, and the Head of Department of Geography of OAU as the Second Representative.
Abu, I. Michael
Head of Press and Public Relations, OSGoF