Environment Information Systems in Sub-Saharan Africa: An Internet Resource

The World Bank, in conjunction with other donors and international agencies, initiated the Program on Environment Information Systems (EIS) in Sub-Saharan Africa to promote the implementation of effective EIS to support the process of sustainable development in the region. The program, coordinated by an international Advisory Committee of 30 members from Africa and international institutions, supports African countries as they assess their priority needs in terms of environment and land information systems and analyze the technical, institutional, legal and economic issues hampering their possibilities of meeting these needs.

The term environment information system as used in the context of this program covers any organized system for environmental data management, including geographic information systems (GIS) containing environmental data sets.

The World Bank program is an international forum of donors and professionals who perform the following activities in support of EIS development in sub-Saharan Africa:

Among the countries which have participated in the program by sharing relevant information are Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Mauritania, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Since its creation, the World Bank's Program on Environment Information Systems in Sub-Saharan Africa has helped to raise the awareness and understanding of environmental information systems (EIS) and geographic information systems (GIS) and their importance in Africa.

A program secretariat has been established in the Environmentally Sustainable Development Division (AFTES) of the Africa Technical Department at the World Bank in Washington, DC. For additional information about the program, contact Koffi Kouakou, EIS Program Secretariat, Environmentally Sustainable Development Division (AFTES), Africa Technical Department, Room J3-169, The World Bank, 1818 H Street, NW, Washington, DC 20433; 202/473-4332; FAX: 202/473-7916; e-mail: kkouakou@worldbank.org

An Internet Resource

AFRICA-EIS, a new listserver available on the Internet, is just one of thousands of resources available to individuals with professional or personal interest in the environment. The list was developed to share the massive amount of environmental and geographic information that has been aggregated about Africa and make it available for natural resources management and decision making for socioeconomic and development purposes.

Goals

The Program on Environment Information Systems in Sub-Saharan Africa intends to initiate a forum for discussion and exchange of expertise on the topics of "Environmental Information for Sustainable Development in Africa." Thus the AFRICA-EIS listserver would serve as such and provide opportunities for professionals interested in EIS/GIS in Africa to address these issues and to network among themselves. The following are the specific goals of the forum:

Accessing AFRICA-EIS

While participating in lists is not a new activity for most readers of the Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science, we take this opportunity to travel through the steps of some AFRICA-EIS activities to remind us all of the ease with which we can access tremendous amounts of information on the environment, as well as virtually any other subject one can imagine.
AFRICA-EIS
Dear Subscriber:
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Welcome to AFRICA-EIS
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	AFRICA-EIS is an electronic mail service provided by the Program on
Environment Information Systems in Sub-Saharan Africa, hosted at the
Environmentally Sustainable Development Division (AFTES) of the Africa
Technical Department of the World Bank, in collaboration with UNDP,
OSS/UNITAR and USAID/WRI-NRICG.  
	The objective of this listserver is to provide a forum for
discussion and especially to promote the use of geographical
information systems (GIS) and spatial information on environmental
issues as a support tool for decision making for natural resource
management in Sub-Saharan Africa.  Relevant GIS experiences and lessons
learned from other continents are welcome. However, the focus here
remains the African continent.  AFRICA-EIS keeps an archive and an
index of issues relevant to GIS issues and a list of EIS newsletters of
the Program on Environment Information Systems inn Sub-Saharan Africa.
	AFRICA-EIS is open to any interested parties.  Subscribers can send
questions, post information or comments regarding specific GIS topics
to the list.
JOINING A CONFERENCE
	To join a conference, follow these steps:
1.	Create a message.
2.	In the address line, type:   listserv@tome.worldbank.org
3.	At the beginning of the message body, type:   subscribe AFRICA-EIS
[your first name] [your last name]
LEAVING A CONFERENCE
To leave a conference, follow these steps:
1.	Create a message.
2.	In the address line, type:   listserv@tome.worldbank.org
3.	At the beginning of the message body, type:   unsubscribe
AFRICA-EIS
CONTRIBUTING TO A CONFERENCE
	To post (send) a message to a conference, follow these steps:
1.	Create a message.
2.	In the address line, type the conference address:  
AFRICA-EIS@tome.worldbank.org
3.	Type what you'd like in the body of the message and send it.  This
message will go directly to all subscribers to the conference.  Please
follow these guidelines:
Make sure your posting might be of interest to everybody.  If you want
to send a message to a particular person, send them a private
electronic mail message.
Keep to the topic of the conference.  
Please make an effort to keep emotions from clouding your message. 
Also, please give other subscribers the benefit of the doubt.  Before
becoming annoyed at someone's message, try to clarify what was meant.
REQUESTING A DOCUMENT
	You can request a listing of documents available through the list
using the following steps:
1.	Create a message.
2.	In the address line, type:   listserv@tome.worldbank.org
3.	At the beginning of the message, type:   get AFRICA-EIS index.
	Within a few hours, you should receive a listing of documents in
the following format:
		Filename	Title
		000001	Document title here
		000002	Document title here
	To request a specific document from the listing provided, follow
steps 1 and 2 above.  At the beginning of the message (step 3), type:  
get AFRICA-EIS [filename]