Enhancing the Uptake of Earth Observation Products and Services in Africa Through a Multi-level Transdisciplinary Approach.

Ifejika Speranza, Chinwe; Akinyemi, Felicia Olufunmilayo; Baratoux, David; Benveniste, Jérôme; Ceperley, Natalie Claire; Driouech, Fatima; Helmschrot, Jörg (2023). Enhancing the Uptake of Earth Observation Products and Services in Africa Through a Multi-level Transdisciplinary Approach. Surveys in geophysics, 44(1), pp. 7-41. Springer 10.1007/s10712-022-09724-1

s10712-022-09724-1.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution (CC-BY).

Download (1MB) | Preview

Africa stands to gain from Earth Observation (EO) science, products and applications. However, its use and application remain below potential on the continent. This article examines how EO can better serve the needs of African users. First, we argue that a successful uptake of EO services is conditional on understanding the African context and matching EO development and deployment to it. Using reference cases, we find that actors outside Africa drive most EO initiatives, whereas country-level expenditures on EO remain low. Recent developments, such as the African space policy and strategy, and initiatives in partnerships with Africa-based organisations to develop a community of practice on EO hold the potential to fill the identified gaps. The analysis indicates that most EO users are either government organisations or researchers, with very few cases involving other types of users. It is generally assumed that users at the local levels are educated and digitally literate, or that the transmission of EO-based knowledge is achieved by government officers and researchers. Although still very few, potentials are emerging for the private sector to deploy EO products and services such as crop or index-based insurance directly to farmers. These private initiatives have prospects for further developing indigenous EO capacity as envisioned in the African space policy and strategy. We then formulate recommendations for a transdisciplinary approach that integrates user contexts, attributes and needs to enhance the uptake of EO products and services in Africa. We conclude by proposing actions to close some of the identified gaps and seize emerging opportunities.

Supplementary Information

The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s10712-022-09724-1.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Review Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Physical Geography > Unit Hydrology
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Geographies of Sustainability > Unit Land Systems and Sustainable Land Management (LS-SLM)
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography

UniBE Contributor:

Ifejika Speranza, Chinwe, Akinyemi, Felicia Olufunmilayo, Ceperley, Natalie Claire


000 Computer science, knowledge & systems
500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
900 History > 910 Geography & travel








Pubmed Import

Date Deposited:

31 Aug 2022 14:44

Last Modified:

17 Jan 2024 16:00

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Africa Co-production Collaboration Community of practice Earth observation products and services End-users Societal needs Transdisciplinary





Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback