Iipumbu Sakaria* The Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) will be hosting the first ever Geographic Information System-National Spatial Data Infrastructure (GIS-NSDI) forum in Namibia. This event will take place this week from 26 – 27 July at NIPAM. Many would be wondering what this is all about. Well, spatial data is all about space, location and geography. It is any data that is linked to a location such as boundaries, roads, buildings, places, roads, etc. The spatial data infrastructure is all about technologies, policies, standards and institutional arrangements put together to better manage the collection, maintenance and dissemination of spatial data. With this type of information policymakers, planners and decision-makers are enabled to base their decisions on both statistics and the location from where such statistics are collected. With the combination of statistics and geography, the Statistics Act has considered the aspect of location alongside statistics. We are certain that with this combination, the country should effectively plan and address our many socio-economic and environmental challenges we face in a sustainable manner. The purpose of the forum is to engage on how to harness the enormous potential of geospatial technologies and go beyond local and national level applications to regional and global applications. It also aims to achieve an integrated management and dissemination of geospatial information in support of social, economic and environmentally sustainable development as well as making sure that geospatial information used in spatial planning is current, of good quality and appropriate for application in business, planning, decision-making and policy design. We are aware that geospatial information has contributed immensely to overcome world socio-economic challenges. There are various case studies that demonstrate how countries all over the world use geospatial information for their development and for the effective and efficient delivery of public services. It has also been extensively used in natural resources management, facilities management, and land management and in the management of street networks, site selection and others. Once there is improved access to government’s location-based information we will meaningfully contribute to boosting the Namibian economy and improving government efficiency. It will enable innovation and better decision-making as it will open up opportunities across business, environmental, security and community sectors. Information is power, statistics is power and spatial information is even of more power if we do think of that. The NSA will continue to provide the statistics needed for development and at this juncture I would encourage everybody to get themselves familiar with spatial data. It can certainly improve whatever we do. We hope that you are one of the participants that registered for this forum and we hope to see you at the event. For further details, do not hesitate to contact the offices of the NSA. Our mandate remains providing statistics for development. *Iipumbu Sakaria is the manager for corporate communications at the Namibia Statistics Agency.
2018-07-23 09:35:11 1 months ago