The establishment of Digital Earth Africa (DE Africa) has been funded by US-based Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust and the Australian Government. Digital Earth Australia (DE Australia) — a world-class platform funded by the Australian Government that uses satellite imagery to identify changes in Australia's landscape — will provide technical and operational guidance. An African-led ecosystem of governments, private businesses, international investors and non-government organisations will provide the enduring investment for DE Africa.
Digital Earth Africa will provide a routine, reliable and operational service, using Earth observations to deliver decision-ready products enabling policy makers, scientists, the private sector and civil society to address social, environmental and economic changes on the continent and develop an ecosystem for innovation across sectors.
Digital Earth Africa (DE Africa) will process openly accessible and freely available data to produce decision-ready products. Working closely with the AfriGEO community, DE Africa will be responsive to the information needs, challenges and priorities of the African continent. DE Africa will leverage and build on existing capacity to enable the use of Earth observations to address key challenges across the continent.
The DE Africa office
In its first year, the DE Africa office will establish its operational and governance frameworks and build its technical expertise. The Australian Government will help guide this initial development in partnership with data, policy and industry leaders across Africa. The DE Africa Office will centralise the operations, governance and forward work plan of the program. It will also build technical and policy expertise, and data analytics capability in country.
The DE Africa office will expand on the existing community, and strengthen the long-term engagement of international donors, philanthropic and multilateral organisations, and nations (inside and outside Africa) that want to invest in high impact EO solutions to address environmental and economic challenges across the continent.
In February 2019, the USA-based Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust committed USD10 million to the development of DE Africa, with a further AUD10 million (approximately USD7 million) from the Australian Government. The Australian Government committed to providing the technical and operational expertise and will coordinate DE Africa's establishment.