The director of the ICT, Science & Technology Division of the Addis Ababa-based United Nations Economic Commission of Africa (UNECA) Dr Aida Opoku-Mensah has been bestowed with the ‘Geospatial World Leadership Award for Making a Difference’ award at this year’s Geospatial World Forum held in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Dr Opoku-Mensah was among professionals, entrepreneurs, organisations, programmes and academic institutions selected by Geospatial World Magazine as having made significant contribution towards development of geographic information science, technology, products, applications, capacity development and in turn helped towards the growth of the geospatial industry as well as making geographic information a public commodity.
They were selected from nominations and recommendations made by patrons and members of the Advisory Board of Geospatial World magazine, who noted that over the past many years, DR Opoku-Mensah has “been a great advocate of geospatial technology in Africa and has provided leadership to several very valuable programs and initiatives leading to capacity development of African countries with reference to geospatial competence and infrastructure, including promoting the UN GGIM initiative in Africa”.
In its citation stated, the Board stated that Dr Opoku-Mensah’s “pro-active engagement with the geospatial community including academic institutions, policy makers, mapping agencies, the geospatial industry and end users has paved way for meaningful collaboration and cooperation amongst them for overall development of the continent.”
During the award ceremony it was cited that her “hard work and efforts have been touching the lives of several hundred thousands, enabling them to understand their resources better for earning their livelihood with self pride and dignity.”
Accepting the award, Opoku-Mensah said she was humbled by the recognition from the global geospatial community and stressed that she was only implementing the work programme of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, “which happens to be one of the few institutions that sees the strategic importance of geospatial technology for sustainable development, whether its in mining, natural resource management, monitoring elections, infrastructure development or measuring and managing the economy”.
The Geospatial World Forum is a platform for all stakeholders of the global geospatial community, policy makers and end users of geospatial information. The theme of the Geospatial World Forum 2012 currently being held in Amsterdam is ‘Geospatial Industry & World Economy’, assessing the geospatial industry’s contribution to the world economy.