On 5 August 2013, UNU-INRA launched its new GIS Resource Centre, a 15-seat state-of-the-art geographic information system (GIS) laboratory. Professor Kazuhiko Takeuchi (Senior Vice-Rector of UNU and Project Leader of CECAR-Africa) and Dr. Elias Ayuk (Director of UNU-INRA) officially launched the centre in the presence of CECAR-Africa project stakeholders. The CECAR-Africa project partially funded the establishment of the facility. The centre seeks to provide knowledge and hands-on practical experience in GIS and remote sensing, which is usually limited in regular educational set-ups. The initiative is part of efforts to address the capacity gaps in geospatial applications for environmental monitoring, natural resources management and research in Africa.
As part of the launch, certificates were presented to 14 pioneers who participated in the maiden GIS course organised by the centre. The centre will organise four regular courses annually and other sessions on demand, starting in 2014. The target groups for our courses include government institutions, nongovernmental and private organisations across Africa, as well as post graduate students.