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Press Release

Hannover, 19.12.2016

GIRAF Network transferred into African hands – after seven years of coordination by BGR

At the 26th Colloquium of African Geology (CAG26) in Ibadan the GIRAF network was ceremonially handed over from Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe (BGR) to African colleagues and GIRAF members. GIRAF was founded in 2009, the inaugural conference-workshop being held in Windhoek (Namibia), and the network has grown ever since.

GIRAF was created as a platform and network for African geoscience information experts to share information and experience and to cooperate across political boundaries. It is also a forum to discuss and understand the real needs and issues in geoscience information management, delivery and technology in Africa and to facilitate the inclusion of African geoscience information experts into international initiatives and projects.

Since 2009 the network was coordinated by Dr. Kristine Asch, BGR and CGI, who ceremonially handed over the network to Mr. Ibrahim Shaddad, Director of the African Mineral and Geosciences Centre (AMGC) in Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), the new president, Olugbenga Okunlola (University of Ibadan, Nigeria) and the newly formed GIRAF Council. In Dar es Salaam the new GIRAF office will be located. "Knowledge-based Geoscience information is more important than ever, especially in Africa", said Kristine Asch during the transfer and she wishes the African colleagues and the network all the best for the future.

Since its inauguration the network has been primarily supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), BGR, UNESCO Nairobi, the Geological Society of Africa, Australian Aid, the United Nations Development Programme, the Commission for Geoscience Information (CGI) of the IUGS (International Union of Geological Sciences), but also many more organizations. GIRAF has more than 400 members from more than 30 African Countries and 12 non-African ones.

The aim of the GIRAF network is to improve the environmental conditions and economic circumstances in Africa by application of information technology based on geoscience data and information.

More information:

Dr. Kristine Asch, Tel.: 0511 643 3324, E-Mail:

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Press spokesman: Andreas Beuge, Tel.: 0511 643 2679
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