After a 4 year project, Burkina Faso has updated its national base map

In 2011, IGN France International was awarded the project funded by the European Union in the context of the 10th European Development Fund, to update the national base map of Burkina Faso.

Completed between 2011 and 2015, this project consisted in the creation of 34 topographic maps at a scale of 1.200 000 as well as the updating of the national topographic database.

The previous base map had not been updated since the 1950’s and did not reflect any longer the changes that have occurred in Burkina in the recent years.

For instance, over 40 or 50 years, new dams and new roads have appeared, demographic pressure has led to urban expansion, often at the expense of agricultural land which has started to take over forest cover, all in addition to phenomenons linked to global warming that may have modified agricultural, farming or forest areas. All of these types of changes had to be identified over the entire country and had to be on the updated map.

The project was divided in 4 main components:

– The acquisition of satellites images and the technical assistance for the launch of tenders that were meant to permit the acquisition of the equipment necessary for the project.

– A capacity building phase consisting in the implementation of the methodology, the identification of local expertise, the recruitment of local teams and extensive training sessions.

– A production and technical assistance phase.

It is important to note that in this project, like in most of the IGN France International projects, 100% of the production is completed locally by local staff. It is also important to underline that a special care was taken to place names as the proper names including the names of villages has been totally checked, completed and updated.

– And the last phase aims to highlight the work being done and the added value of such a project to future users.

Of course, the professionals from many sectors have very strong expectations as until now they really suffered not to be able to use reliable and interoperable data to make their decisions.

From now on professionals working the fields of environment, transportation, urban planning, water resources management, forest and agriculture, and many other key players working for the economic and social development of the country can use the same cartographic reference data that allows them to collect, share, aggregate data and information coming from various sources.

Burkina Faso celebrated the end of the project last February, 19th with the organization of an exhibition presenting its main achievements as well as a final seminar and an official ceremony that took place at the recently rehabilitated National Mapping Institute of Burkina (IGB).

The Minister of Infrastructures, the Ambassador of France and the representative of the European Union in Burkina Faso attended these meetings, showing how important this project is for the development of the country.

A previous official ceremony of delivery of the 13 first new maps had taken place in January 2014 in presence of the President of the National assembly and of the Ambassador of the European Union. At this occasion, the IGB general manager had compared the old maps produced in the 1960’s with the new ones highlighting the changes occurring on the whole territory.

IGN France International has already completed or is currently leading similar mapping projects in Senegal, Mali and Benin.


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