22 June 2006

United Nations Holds Workshop on Global Navigation Satellite Systems Applications in Sub-Saharan Africa   

VIENNA, 22 June (UN Information Service) - The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA), within the framework of the United Nations Programme on Space Applications, is holding a five-day Regional Workshop on the Applications of Global Navigation Satellite System Technologies in Sub-Saharan Africa in Lusaka, Zambia, from 26 to 30 June. The Regional Workshop is being co-sponsored by the Government of Zambia and the European Space Agency (ESA), and hosted by the Ministry of Health of Zambia.

Global navigation satellite system technology is currently being used in a wide range of sectors including aviation, maritime and land transportation, mapping and surveying, monitoring of the environment, agriculture and natural resources management, and disaster warning and emergency response. Global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) are an enabling technology that can make a major contribution to economic growth and social betterment, particularly in developing countries.

Since 2001, OOSA has organized a series of regional workshops and international meetings to promote the use of GNSS, presenting the status of existing and near-term GNSS systems and their augmentations and examples of GNSS applications that support sustainable development and protect the environment.

The objectives of the workshop are: (a) to increase the awareness among managers, policymakers and decision makers about the potential benefits of applying GNSS technology to the areas of remote sensing, precision agriculture, aviation, transport and communications, e-learning, tele-health and landscape epidemiology; (b) to strengthen regional information and data exchange networks on the use of GNSS technology; and (c) to develop regional/national pilot projects that use GNSS technology in these areas for improving social and economic growth. 

The workshop programme will include sessions on: GNSS-based application areas; policies and strategies for promoting sustainable development, international initiatives and experiences on the implementation and uses of GNSS; education and training in the use and application of GNSS technologies; and the use and implementation of GNSS in agriculture and environmental management, tele-health and landscape epidemiology, and civil aviation and land transportation.

More than 100 participants from the following countries and international organizations are expected to attend the workshop: Australia, Burundi, Cameroon, China, Ethiopia, Germany, Ghana, Italy, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Nigeria, Russian Federation, Senegal, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, United States, Zambia, Zimbabwe, ESA and OOSA.


The United Nations Programme on Space Applications is implemented by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs and works to improve the use of space science and technology for the economic and social development of all nations, in particular developing countries. Under the Programme, the Office conducts training courses, workshops, seminars and other activities on applications and capacity building in subjects such as remote sensing, communications, satellite meteorology, search and rescue, basic space science, satellite navigation and space law.

The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA) implements the decisions of the General Assembly and of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and its two Subcommittees, the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee and the Legal Subcommittee. The Office is responsible for promoting international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space, and assisting developing countries in using space science and technology. Located in Vienna, Austria, OOSA maintains a website at http://www.unoosa.org/ .

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For information contact:

Sharafat Gadimova
Programme Officer, OOSA
E-mail: sharafat.gadimova@unvienna.org