EORC and Ethiopian Mapping Agency (EMA) Signed MOU on Aerospace & Earth observation Science & Technology transfer for sustainable development of Ethiopia
On Friday 13 November 2015, Entoto observatory Research center (EORC) and Ethiopian Mapping Agency (EMA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) agreement on Aerospace and Earth observation Science & Technology transfer for sustainable development of Ethiopia and made press conference at Jupiter International Hotel, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Before the signature ceremony, Dr.Tulu Besha, EORC's Earth observation Department head, gave brief introduction about the MOU agreement and its objectives for the audiences and press Medias. Dr. Tulu explained that the main purpose of the MOU is to establish collaboration between EORC & EMA in the wider application areas of geodesy, remote sensing and geo-spatial information science and technology which is directly applied to solve the current bottleneck societal problems in terms of surveying , map and master plan making, land administration and other related socio-economic problems supported with strong study and researches that lead to innovation , adoption, and technology transfer for sustainable development of the country.
Dr.Tulu mentioned that modernization of the Ethiopian geoid Model/geo potential height system, establishment of zero-order horizontal geodetic network using active GNSS infrastructures, validating the accuracy of urban cadastral map/aerial photos and development of operational Land Information Management System (LIMS) are some among the collaboration areas of the MOU. Dr. Tulu then invited Dr. Solomon Belay and Mr. Sultan Mohammed Directors of EORC & EMA respectively to sign on the MOU agreement in front of the two parties’ witness.
After the signature ceremony , EMA's Director Mr. Sultan Mohamed said that the main jobs of EMA is to collect and organize Geo spatial data and make useful for the socio and economic development of the country . Thus the techniques and technologies used for collecting and processing should be modernized and up to date. In this regard today's agreement with EORC is therefore used to enhance and modernize the methods EMA has been used sofar in surveying and collecting spatial datum.
The primary task that EMA will work with EORC is to produce a precise Geo-Spatial model of Ethiopia based on the available gravity surveying stations throughout the country that will give an accurate and reliable height information of any places in the country up to a millimeter distance precision above sea-level . This Geo-Spatial model will modernize and transform the current surveying and spatial data collection methods so that EMA can provide accurate information for the users. Mr. Sultan also said that EMA & EORC will not only limited to the aforementioned project but will also collaborate and work on other Earth observation fields. Finally the director assure that EMA will do its best to make the MOU agreement fruitful and thank EORC's team for their commitment and leadership for making the MOU come to reality.
Dr. Solomon Belay, Director of EORC, in his part said that one of the EORC's missions is to collaborate and work with national and international institutes that aim in support and development of Ethiopian growth and transformation plan. EORC's Earth observation department was opened based on the need assessment study that was conducted to identify the core research and training fields which are vital to answer current problems of country. Ethiopian Mapping Agency has had a long term pilled up experiences on surveying and mapping, however it is not in a modernized and state of art technology position. It needs to be up to date and modernized. Today's agreement between EORC and EMA is therefore to work on these issues in a modernized way so as to address the societal needs, Dr. Solomon finally said that the MOU is just the beginning and he assert EORC's preparedness and commitment to further strength the agreement and make the collaboration work successful.
Finally H.E Tefera Walwa, EORC's Board Chairman and Patron of Ethiopian Space Science Society, make a speech and pass the following messages for both signatory parties. Tefera said that he is happy to see the two organizations reach upon this agreement to work on modernizing surveying and map makings using the latest space science and technologies where the peoples in the world are using currently. He pointed out that the agreement showed two important transformations, the first one is the paradigm-shift of thoughts in believing and utilizing Space Science Technologies and the second one is a transformation journey for being owners of the space science & technology.
Tefera mentioned that Space Science and technology is not something that people should fear being far from it and not limited only to the space, however it has wider applications for any task that we work on mother Earth. It can be used for map making, land administration , monitoring and navigating transports in air, sea and land, rail road construction, agriculture , population census and so-forth. Space Science is therefore the modern and latest science that can be used for our daily socio-economic purposes.
Tefera also emphasized that though EORC is a recently established center, it opens doors for the country to participate and utilize Space Science technologies which can act as a spring board in its growth and transformation. He appreciates EMA to become the first in getting this service from EORC and makes it pioneer and will let others to follow its footstep. He concludes his speech by thanking both parties and reflects his wish in seeing the agreement to be fruitful and to happen in reality beyond the agreement.