The sun rise above the satellite dish in the capital city Nairobi's skyline in October, 2014. The number of radio stations has grown to over 100 in Kenya in the past 10 years. [Jacob Otieno, Standard]

Kenya is part of several Africa countries set to gain from a new continent-wide initiative to use satellite data in fighting challenges such as climate change.

The Digital Earth Africa (DE Africa) initiative brings together several African countries, including Kenya, Ghana and Sierra Leone in pooling and analysing satellite data and mining the same for insights.

"The platform will unlock the potential of earth observations and provide a routine, reliable and operational service to deliver decision-ready products in response to these challenges,” said DE Africa Establishment Team Managing Director Dr Adam Lewis in a statement.

This will be achieved through the use of earth observations from satellites to track changes across the continent.

DE Africa will use Earth Observations from satellites to track changes across the continent in detail, providing data that can be used in policymaking around agriculture, deforestation, desertification, water quality and changes in human settlements. DE Africa is co-funded by the Leona M and Harry B Helmsley Charitable Trust and the Australian Government with the head office planned for Addis Ababa Ethiopia.

The initiative plans to eventually become a sovereign operational and analytic resource for African countries, with in-country expertise in data analysis, use and management.

"By using this satellite data, governments will be able to make informed policies to drive economic growth and will enable businesses to innovate and create new products creating new growth opportunities," said Lewis. Defence Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo said the project has the potential to improve policy-making through data.

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