NGP Gabon: IGN France International presented the results of the pilot projects during a final seminar
Gabon is a country full of mineral and environmental resources. The country wishes to develop an appropriate economic strategy that will allow them to benefit from these resources without destroying or depleting them, all the while striving towards well balanced management of the territory. It is with this in mind that the President of the Republic created the priority sectors of Green Gabon, Gabon Services and Industrial Gabon within his societal “Emerging Gabon” programme. In order to better accompany this strategic vision, the General Directorate of the Budget initiated the National Geomatic Plan (NGP).
Chosen to carry out the diagnosis and the pilot phase, IGN France International presented the main results of the work conducted between April and December, 2011 at the occasion of a final seminar. This seminar was held on December 6th, 2011 in Libreville and brought together around 60 representatives, most of whom were general managers and permanent secretaries from the main ministries, all in the presence of Emmanuel Issozet, Minister of the Budget and Madame Yolande Nyonda, Permanent Secretary of the Budget.
Yves Fernand Manfoumbi, general manager of the Budget (DGB), organisation in charge of this initiation phase and Alex Bongo Ondimba, National Agency of digital infrastructure and frequencies (ANINF) general manager, the organisation in charge of the implementation phase on a national scale, directed the discussions.
When asked about the seminar once it was over, the participants were enthusiastic.
"As far as the zoning of agricultural land is concerned, the launch of this project nationally will be a real revolution," said Clarisse Ponga Sieno Lingombe, Deputy General Manager of Agriculture within the Ministry of Agriculture, Farming, Fishing and Rural Development. "Investors need to have reliable information about the available crops or farm lands. The launch of the National Geomatic Plan will allow us to work faster and will give us the means to attract new investors and to quickly respond to the challenge of food security."
Augustin Massosso Benga, the deputy executive secretary for the Ministry of Transportation adds: “The pilot projects truly allowed us to understand that the different fields of application were vast. The NGP can likely help the country to solve certain problems and especially to avoid progressing without a clear view of our goal.”
A true management tool, the National Geomatic Plan contributes to:
- Standardising the spatial data that is produced and making it interoperable
- Establishing common rules for the different administrations, in terms of shared costs and responsibilities
- Developing data infrastructures and tools to promote the sharing and exchange of information
- Avoiding the duplication of data
- Providing the skills necessary for the animation of the infrastructure and its sustainability once it is implemented
It covers a broad scope that includes the following institutional aspects (creation of decision-making and coordination organisms, definition of the missions of organisms that produce and distribute geographic information…), human aspects (training of personnel, support for Ministries in the use of geomatic tools…) and technical aspects (implementation of an infrastructure for the production, cataloguing and distribution of geographic information, data acquisition and definition of a coherent spatial reference system…).
The goal of the final seminar was to present the representatives of the main Ministries with the stakes of the NGP and the results of the 4 pilot projects, along with leading companies, in the fields of agriculture (ONF International), health, road infrastructures (InfoGéoConseil) and water resources (BRGM).
The geographic information that is produced, stored, updated, exchanged, shared, enriched and exploited becomes critical to Gabon’s economic development. Deployed at a national level, the NGP will provide administrations with services to promote decision-making and contribute to the development of synergies between the different sectorial ministries. It will allow for the planning of future investments, the stimulation of active projects and the assessment of the impact of the different public policies that are implemented.
At the end of this seminar, the ANINF and the General Directorate of the Budget indicated that they wished to quickly implement the NGP with the help of IGN France International.
For Thierry Tiwinot, General Manager of Statistics, this is excellent news: “Obviously as Head of Statistics in Gabon I am 100% behind this approach that will allow Gabon to have reliable, complete and exploitable information at its disposal. We must not be afraid of the cooperation between different administrations in order to provide the tool with material and make it sustainable. In my opinion, this is what stands out of all the different presentations."
The different discussions throughout the seminar further support Thierry Tiwinot’s statement that the key factors of success for this type of long and ambitious project are often found in the strong will of the highest-ranked government authorities to carry them out. Several examples exist from spatial data infrastructure projects that were subjected to preliminary studies and were progressively abandoned. The difficulties that arise from these types of projects involving many different entities on different levels can of course be technical, but also legal and organisational, without forgetting the need to reinforce local capacities.
“Lastly, the communication component cannot be neglected,” mentions Benoît Kiéné, project manager for the NGP Gabon. It contributes to a better understanding by users of what is at stake at a national level when dealing with these types of infrastructures. Users who are well-informed will give their full support.