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Governing Board

The Governing Board will provide strategic guidance, oversight and accountability to ensure successful achievement of the mission and vision of DE Africa including policy guidance, alignment and prioritisation, and uptake and use of data products at the national and other levels. Board membership should reflect diversity and expertise consistent with the mission of DE Africa, and include members at the highest levels within each organisation when appropriate. Board members shall align to and provide relevant expertise to the mission and vision of DE Africa, and bring their collective experience, knowledge and networks to provide strategic guidance to benefit DE Africa.

Size and Cadence

Board membership will be capped at 15 members. Board members will meet either virtually or in-person twice each year. Beyond these meetings, members may be asked individually to provide support to the DE Africa Coordinator and Programme Office according to the Terms of Reference.


With exception of the host institution, Board membership at inception will be on a 3 year-term. Thereafter, the term will change to 2 years. This is to ensure the initial Board members can provide input to DE Africa as the programme matures through its establishment phase. The Africa Development Bank, Africa Union Commission, GEO Secretariat, UNECA and the Regional Economic Communities of the African Union (RECs) will hold permanent positions on the Governing Board. For all other organisations, membership will be rotating, and in order to maintain continuity, these organisations may renew their membership for a 2 year term based on approval from the Chairs. After this point, new organisations will be selected that will rotate every 2 years. Members may also end their membership at any time with 3 months advanced notice. For all organisations included in the Governing Board, the Chairs also have the power to open a vote among Governing Board members to replace a member due to inactivity or other indiscretions requiring such an action.

Membership The DE Africa Establishment Team, having regard to the governance principles including gender and geographic diversity, will present an initial set of recommended institutions for Board membership to the Phase I Steering Committee. The Phase I Steering Committee will approve the list of nominations and provide support as needed for any recruitment needed. Any changes or new memberships will be managed by the co-chairs and the DE Africa Programme Office. The DEA Coordinator will be an ex-officio member of the Governing Board.

Terms of Reference

Board members will have the following responsibilities:

  • Approve the overall strategy, investment decisions and annual work programme.
  • Provide guidance on policy implications from alignment to influence based on DE Africa products and outcomes.
  • Monitor achievements and progress.
  • Provide contact persons to help with high-level political engagements.
  • Connect DE Africa programme with country needs, challenges and resources.
  • Support resource mobilisation through contacts and potential sources of funding.
  • Support broader outreach and communications using the DE Africa communications toolkit.
  • Ensure DE Africa is delivering impact and capacity in line with the vision, mission and goals.
  • Approve the Governance Framework, its annual review and any future amendments including a review of hosting arrangements.
  • Nominate and recruit new Board members as needed.

Board Chairs

Two Co-chairs will be selected for the Governing Board based on input and guidance from the Phase I Steering Committee. The DE Africa Establishment Team will support a Secretary function that the DE Africa Programme Office will manage in the long-term.

Core responsibilities of the Chairs include:

  • Work in close collaboration with the Coordinator of the DE Africa Programme Office and provide guidance, support and advice as needed.
  • Convene and chair each Board meeting.
  • Manage and facilitate Board discussions and bring discussion topics to a conclusion through inclusion of opinions from all Board members.
  • Consult with the Co-Chairs of the Technical Advisory Committee to ensure TAC recommendations are factored into the Board agenda.
  • Oversee the membership process including renewals and cycle turnover.
  • Ensure Board members are participating to the extent agreed upon and mitigate any conflicts or disagreements.

View the full Digital Earth Africa Governance Framework.