At the 5th Malabo Montpellier Forum that took place in Banjul, the State of Gambia represented by Mr. Momodou Mbye JABANG, and IFPRI discussed the development of an eAtlas for the Gambia, based on a Geographic Information System (GIS). ReSAKSS country eAtlases provide disaggregated data on Agricultural, socioeconomic and biophysical indicators for African countries. The ReSAKSS-eAtlas technical team visited the Gambia from March 2nd to 4th to operationalize the country’s eAtlas Platform.
The launch of the eAtlas Platform for the Gambia brought together more than 15 participants including Gambian policymakers, technicians from the Ministry of Agriculture, and members of the ReSAKSS research and database development team. For 3 days, the team worked with Gambian experts to present the data available on the eAtlas platform – crops, biophysics, livestock and fisheries – the structure of the eAtlas platform and its functionalities, and finally facilitated a practical exercise on how to manipulate the eAtlas platform.
An advanced training was delivered to the Planning Service of the Department of Agriculture (DOA) as they will be responsible for the maintenance and updating of the country data on the eAtlas platform. The workshop also led to the implementation of a national team chaired by Mr. Francis Mendy, Principal Planning Officer at the Ministry of Agriculture. He will coordinate the activities of the Gambia eAtlas team and will serve as the contact person for future collaborations. He acknowledged the importance of the eAtlas platform and said: “In the absence of data, you cannot make any informed decision. That's why it is important for a country to be able to have a platform where all the data will be archived. So, life will become easier not only for researchers but even for policymakers.”
Debriefing session with Permanent Secretary Mr. Momodou Mbye Jabang (dressed in white)
The sessions included a debriefing attended by Permanent Secretary Mr. Momodou Mbye JABANG. In closing, Dr. Racine Ly reasserted ReSAKSS strengthening capacities mission “to support the formulation and implementation of evidence-based agricultural-sector policies and strategies”. On his part, Permanent Secretary Mr. Jabang argued that this eAtlas launch is the beginning of a long fruitful relationship between the ReSAKSS and the Gambia, and informed the ReSAKSS-eAtlas technical team about his willingness to engage them in capacitating Gambia’s farmer organizations and accompanying the upcoming joint programs between the Ministry and other international stakeholders.
The eAtlas platform helps enhance the capacity to monitor and evaluate African countries’ agricultural sector performance.