Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024

Expert Urges Africa To Leverage Geoscience Data For Increased Mining Investment

By Martha Agas

Prof. Mike Stephenson, an expert in geoscience has urged Africa to leverage geoscience data to attract increased mining investment in the continent.

Stephenson made the call in a paper he presented at the 59th Annual International Conference and Exhibition (AICE) of the Nigeria Mining and Geosciences Society (NMGS) in Jos on Wednesday.

The paper was titled “The International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGs) Deep-time Digital Earth (DDE) programme: Enabling African Geodata.”

He said that the global upsurge in energy transition has increased the demand for critical minerals essential for process predominantly found in Africa.

He emphasised the need to generate geoscience data in order to accurately assess the natural resources within the region.

Stephenson, who is the DDE Director, Europe and Middle East, said that the data would help Africa get the best out of the resources that African nations choose to export.

“African nations are aiming at inward investment to develop local industries – mining, energy, manufacturing as well as high value service industries,” he said.

According to him, geoscience data is crucial in transforming natural resources into sustainable economic development that benefits all.

“With appropriate controls, it can also conserve and enhance the natural environment in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” he said.

He explained that DDE is a big science programme designed to facilitate innovation in understanding the earth’s evolution and applications, as well as the SDGs by utilising big data analytics, internet cloud computing, data mining, machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

He said that the DDE programme, initiated in Beijing, China in 2019, could be deployed by various African governments, institutions and academic for their researches and surveys, adding that an AI called GeoGPT would be launched in 2025, aimed at revolutionising data access.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the DDE programme is an international consortium aimed at developing open digital platforms with fully findable, accessible, interoperable , and reusable data, linking the various spheres of earth’s geological history.

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