The 55th Session of the Governing Council of the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) was held between November 15 and 19, 2021. RCMRD’s Governing Council Chairperson Elizabeth Bonolo Khumotaka, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services (MLMWSS) in Botswana, presided over the opening of the 55th session held in a hybrid format – in person and online via zoom.
The Governing Council (GC) meets every year to examine RCMRD’s work and relationships with its partners. In addition, the Council is composed of officers of the rank of Permanent Secretary (PS) or Principal Secretary in the ministries of lands of the 20 member States. It is also a forum of governments at the PS level during which policy guidelines and the organisation’s budget are established for the next one-year period.
Seventeen member states attended the meeting, including Botswana, Comoros, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Rwanda, South Sudan, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Furthermore, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and Eritrea were also in attendance.
The GC reports to the Conference of Ministers, which meets every two years. The GC reviewed and approved the implementation of the 2021 annual work plan, considered and approved the 2022 work plan and received the 2020 financial audit report. During the event, the GC adopted the following reports: The Report of the Director-General for the year 2021; The 2022 Work Programme and Budget; The Finance Committee Report, Tender Committee Report and the Appointments, Promotions and Remuneration Committee reports.
The weeklong 55th meeting of the RCMRD Governing Council ended on November 19, 2021. The meeting resolved to have the RCMRD Office Complex officially opened by a high-profile person in 2022. Also, the conference adopted the feasibility report for Kisamese Land for review together with the RCMRD Business Park and RCTI master plan to select the most profitable investment option after the RCTI Hostels completion. The Governing Council further resolved that the Centre should continue phased recruitment for vacant positions in the new organisation structure.
The meeting also encouraged member states to develop National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) and the Integrated Geospatial Information Framework (IGIF), with the support from the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the United Nations Initiative on Global Geospatial Information Management in Africa (UN-GGIM Africa) and RCMRD.
Furthermore, an appeal was also made to member states to use the Network Control Centre available at RCMRD and encourage collaboration with the private sector to attain the African Geodetic Reference Frame (AFREF). In addition, member states were urged to individually prepare an inventory of surveying equipment that requires the centre’s services to enable appropriate planning. The GC also attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the Regional Centre Training Institute hostel construction project within the new RCMRD Complex that hosts the RCMRD Headquarters.
Below are some pictures from the event
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