The history and status of Spatial Data Infrastructure implementation (Zimbabwe)


Prestige T Makanga, Dr Julian Smit and Charles Paradzayi

Spatial data is a key resource for the development of a nation. There is a lot of economic potential that is locked away in spatial data collections and this potential is realised by making the data widely available. Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDI) provide a platform for spatial data users, producers and those that manage it, to distribute the data more efficiently. Through SDI, the available spatial data resources are made available to those that need to use them for making more informed decision about location related phenomenon. Some previous research efforts point to the fact that more than 80% of decisions have a location component and that makes spatial data key in facilitating the decision making process. Although there has been considerable effort by organizations such the Global Spatial Data Infrastructure (GSDI) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) to spread an awareness of SDI and the important role they play in national development, their implementation is being done at a seemingly very slow pace in Africa.


This paper reviews the status of SDI implementation in Zimbabwe, a country that is experiencing high socio-economic and political uncertainty. It is anticipated that the document will help potential stakeholders that don‘t appreciate the importance of SDI to develop a new paradigm with regards to SDI development in the nation. It is also intended to help get the dormant SDI activity in Zimbabwe back on its feet. A brief background of SDI and its importance is outlined followed by the history and status of SDI activities in the country. The document ends by giving possible ways of reviving the ZSDI initiative in the highly volatile and uncertain Zimbabwean environment.

Full paper attached below.