Department of Science and Technology Director-General Dr Phil Mjwara has been honored with Highest Award of Excellence for his significant contribution and support to the development of Earth Observation and Geospatial Information in Africa and Africa Group on Earth Observation System of Systems (AfriGEOSS) and Group on Earth Observation (GEO) in particular. Dr Mjwara was honored by the African Association of Remote Sensing of the Environment (AARSE).

The top honor was conferred during the 11th conference of AARSE held in Uganda, which the DG attended recently. The highest award of AARSE has only been given to three people since AARSE was created 25 years ago.

AARSE was founded in 1992 to create an enabling environment for Africa to derive benefits from, and contribute to international space science, technology and application programmes.  Its main aim is to increase the awareness of African governments and their institutions, the private sector and society at large, about the empowering and enhancing benefits of developing, applying and utilising responsibly, the products and services of Earth Observation Systems and Geo-Information Technology.

AARSE also participates in the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) and is a member of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) Executive Working Group on GEO information. AARSE also contributed to the former UNECA Committee on the Development Information Science and Technology and has observer status at the UN-Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.

The AARSE conference is a biennial event and the 2016 theme was: “Our Earth, Our Heritage: Harnessing Geospatial Technologies for Sustainable Development in Africa”.