The Africa Regional Data Cube (ARDC) currently supports open data cube (ODC) access and capacity building for five countries: Ghana, Kenya, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Tanzania. The initiative, led by the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data (GPSDD), demonstrates the value of ODC technologies on-the-ground, while also understanding and navigating key technical institutional and capacity challenges. The ARDC clearly shows the country-level demand for access to Earth observation data and the need for a broader, African-owned and regional led approach.

The transition from ARDC to Digital Earth Africa

We’re working closely with GPSDD to transition the ARDC to DE Africa’s continental-wide infrastructure for all of Africa. A detailed Frequently Asked Questions explains what this transition will look like.

The relationship between the ARDC and DE Africa

The ARDC was launched in May 2018 and revealed key technical, institutional and capacity challenges and opportunities confronted by public institutions as they access, analyze and use Earth observations (EO) data. The high demand for analysis-ready EO data accessible through ODC technology across additional countries prompted planning for its expansion to all of Africa to scale according to a continental level approach, as opposed to country by country. A business case for DE Africa was developed in 2018 based on a consensus and understanding across a range of stakeholders across Africa including the ARDC countries.

The difference between ARDC and DE Africa

The ARDC was a prototype providing access to data for five countries and is building invaluable insights into which satellite data and derived products are of most value, and lessons learned on the application of this technology. We will focus on expanding and further developing these data, products and services to a continental scale, providing reliable, ongoing access across all of Africa and working with partner organizations to ensure proper uptake and capacity development at the country level.

The transition plan

We're developing a transition plan with the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) and GPSDD to migrate the ODC technology, data and resources from the previous ARDC infrastructure to the new DE Africa infrastructure. Once the DE Africa infrastructure is reliably established and can provide the same or better functionality to users, the ARDC brand will be phased out, and the technical infrastructure will be archived as it is superseded by the sustainable and operational infrastructure of DE Africa. Integral to the plan is to ensure a smooth transition of users from the old infrastructure to the new by engaging with each of the countries and delivering the appropriate training and capacity development.