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International cooperation and technology transfer
Mussio, Luigi

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Compte-rendu of the WG VI/3
Luigi Solaini 10 th Anniversary
Memorial Meeting in Cotonou
Luigi Mussio, WG VI/3 Chairperson
The rescheduling of the ISPRS TC VI Mid Term Symposium
(Bandung - Indonesia, April 15 - 17, ’99 and April 12 - 14,
99 for a preliminary Workshop and some Tutorials) imposed
some modifications to the ISPRS WG VI/3 program of
Unfortunately the ISPRS Council, during an ISPRS Joint
Meeting of the Council and TCP’s, canceled the already
approved ISPRS WG VI/3 Meeting (Cape Town - South
Africa, February 1 - 5, ’99), because in contrast with some
ISPRS Guidelines.
Anyway the Council members know each other for a long
time and are very nice people. Thus they understood very
well the importance to give a sign in Africa, by means of the
ISPRS WG VI/3 “International Cooperation and Technology
Transfer” activities.
Therefore the ISPRS WG VI/3 attended the 2 nd Regional
Conference of the African Association of Remote Sensing of
the Environment (Abidjan - Cote d’Ivoire, October 4 - 10,
’98), presenting its activities and looking forward to future
The topic “Lesson of Experience and the Way Forward” was
strongly related to the ISPRS TC VI and, in particular, to the
ISPRS WG VI/3 Terms of Reference: Foster relationship
with Regional Member organizations. Thus even if the time
was very short, a symbol was marked.
At that Conference, a new ISPRS WG VI/3 meeting in Africa
was planned by the end of 1999. Consequentially a
Symposium in Cotonou (Benin - Western Equatorial Africa)
was scheduled, organized and prepared from December 6,
1999 to December 10, 1999.
This Symposium, chaired by the AARSE Delegate of the
Benin, Mr. Vincent Joseph Mama, and the ISPRS Treasurer
and Delegate for Africa and Middle East, Prof. Heinz Ruther,
dealt with the topics of Education and Communication
Its motto was “Promoting Space Technology Transfer and
Geomatics Education in Africa” or, in the French language,
“Promotion du Transfert de Technologies Spatiales et la
Formation en Geomatique en Afrique”, with the aim to
overcome the language barriers.
This Symposium offered to the ISPRS WG VI/3
“International Cooperation and Technology Transfer”,
according to its Terms of Reference, the great occasion to
serve ISPRS, as Cooperating Working Group, by means of an
international meeting in Africa too.
Furthermore the OEEPE, by means of its partners, RECTAS,
ITC, GDTA, EU Delegation in Lagos, and the SELPER, by
means of the ISPRS WG VI/1 “Education” (chaired by Dr.
Tania Maria Sausen - Brazil) joined the same Symposium
Indeed they respectively organized a Seminar on
Development Support Project, in the last day, and an One -
day Educational Tutorial, on Photogrammetry, Remote
Sensing, GIS and Geomatics, whose topics were particularly
devoted to Africa.
Finally the whole ISPRS is very grateful to the UN-OOSA
for having provided a large financial support to be devoted in
the organization of the Symposium, whilst the University of
Parma (Italy) offered the printing of the Proceedings of the
Symposium itself.
The Symposium, held in conjunction with the National
Centre for Remote Sensing, CENATEL, a well known center
of advaced and applied studies in the equatorial region of
Africa, was the first ISPRS event ever held in Benin and one
of the first in the continent.
It aimed to advance expertise related to ISPRS and
Geomatics in Africa by bringing together African and
international experts in an African context and through the
discussion of technology transfer and education issues. The
specific objectives of the symposium were:
1. Assessment of the situation of education in Africa
2. Establishment of effective and sustainable education and
training networks in Africa towards improved education
3. Remote learning and computer assisted education
4. Identification of support structures for education and
networking in Africa
5. Informing educators and practitioners on latest
developments in relevant disciplines
6. Investigation of opportunities for joint projects
7. Strengthening of links between Francophone and
anglophone African Geomatics experts and institutions.
Therefore people were kindly invited to spread out
information, as much as possible, considering that everybody
could be the unique one to have got it in his / her country, or
region. The whole ISPRS was sincerely grateful, for the
important and essential cooperation.
Finally the ISPRS WG VI/3 “International Cooperation and
Technology Transfer” staff sincerely hoped to meet and
welcome people in Cotonou (Benin), recognizing that
everybody could play a very, very important role for the
success of the Symposium.
The country of Benin is one of the best places to have a
meeting in Africa, because of its long tradition of peace and
democracy. Moreover the people of Benin is considered one
of the most capable to offer real, concrete and sincere
hospitality in Africa.
The country of Benin is placed in the Western Equatorial
Africa, among Nigeria, Niger, Burkina Faso and Togo, going
anticlockwise from east to west. For its position, it present a
constant weather, relatively warm, with a very long dry
season, just in occasion of the Symposium.
Cotonou, placed on the Atlantic Ocean, is the biggest city of
Benin. It’s the economic and cultural capital of the country,
where the national and international institutions are located.
Furthermore it’s a very international city, where many people
of different origin could be met.
Cotonou is provided by modem infrastructure, including an
international and intercontinental airport; it presents every
kind of shops, African and European restaurants, cinemas and
some other various and different attractive touristic places,
often open all night.
The position of the Benin, its history, culture and tradition
represent an ideal place to encourage the meeting of people
of different origin, coming from both Africa and the
developing countries, where a special attention was paid in
the overcoming of the language barriers.
Last but not least, remembering very well that people, in
developing countries (especially if they lived in some other
continents or subcontinents), had financial troubles, informal
and/or indirect contributions by everybody were always
highly appreciated.
The program of the Symposium foresaw 8 technical session,
including the key - note lectures, 2 special session for a panel
discussion and the business session, the opening session and