The appointment of Dr Thembi Xaba as Managing Director of Digital Earth Africa marks the transition of the organisation to be fully Africa owned and run.
From its outset, the vision for Digital Earth Africa has been to put data into the hands of people in Africa who know the issues and opportunities facing the continent, and whose lives will be changed by creating a more sustainable future.
“I am delighted to be a part of the journey of growth for Digital Earth Africa, leading the organisation from our Program Management Office here in Pretoria,” says Dr Xaba.
“The establishment of the Program Management Office and the appointment of an Executive team in Africa marks a point of growth, of transition and of great promise for what we can achieve together.”
As Dr Xaba takes up her new role, Dr Lisa Hall will transition to a Chief Advisory position, continuing to support Digital Earth Africa and provide international support for initiatives that further climate action on the Africa continent.
“When we established Digital Earth Africa with support from the Australian government, the purpose was always to be Africa owned and run. We have come to a natural point of transition with a trusted team in Africa to be able to hand over the reins and the power to people with the knowledge and expertise to apply it in an African context,” says Dr Hall.
Partnerships across the continent have always been critical to Digital Earth Africa’s success, and the organisation already has strong and established networks with universities, private organisations and technical specialists in Tunisia, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Niger, Kenya, Rwanda and more.
The Technical Advisory Committee and Governing Board continue to have majority African representation.
“I’d like to thank all of our partners and our funders who have supported us over the years - we really couldn’t have done it without you,” says Dr Hall.
Dr Xaba says, “I would like to acknowledge the hard work that the Digital Earth Africa team has delivered. As I join Digital Earth Africa, I would like to thank Dr Lisa Hall for handing over the baton to me, and to thank the Technical Advisory Committee and the Board for entrusting me with the role. I am humbled to be entrusted with the mandate of “unlocking tomorrow’s promise, from patterns of the past”!