20 December 2016 – The Colloquium of African Geology recently officially received the so-called GIRAF network from its German custodians.
GIRAF is a network of African geoscience expert to share information and experience across jurisdictions. It defines a role for geosciences in the development of African countries. The network was inaugurated in Windhoek in 2009 at the first African geosciences conference.
GIRAF was created as a platform to discuss and understand the real needs and issues in geoscience information management, delivery and technology in Africa and to facilitate the inclusion of African geoscience information experts into international initiatives and projects.
Since 2009 the network was coordinated by Dr. Kristine Asch, of the Bundesanstallt fuer Geowissenschaft und Rohstoffe (BGR). She ceremonially handed the network to Mr. Ibrahim Shaddad, the Director of the African Mineral and Geosciences Centre in Dar es Salaam, as well as to its new president, Olugbenga Okunlola of the University of Ibadan in Nigeria and to the newly-formed GIRAF Council. The organisation’s new office is in Dar es Salaam.
“Knowledge-based geoscience information is more important than ever, especially in Africa”, said Dr Asch at the transfer ceremony, wishing her African colleagues and the network all the best for the future.
Since its inauguration the network has been supported primarily by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development , the BGR, UNESCO Nairobi, the Geological Society of Africa, Australian Aid, the United Nations Development Programme, and the Commission for Geoscience Information (CGI) of the International Union of Geological Sciences.
GIRAF has more than 400 members from more than 30 African and 12 non-African countries.
The network strives to improve the environmental conditions and economic circumstances in Africa by application of information technology based on geoscience data and information.