On 25 April 2005, the project Office for International Oceanographic
Data and Information Exchange (IODE)
was inaugurated officially on the site of the Flanders Marine
Institute in Ostend, Belgium.
her address, Fientje Moerman, Vice-Minister-President of the
Flemish Government and Flemish Minister for Economy, Enterprise,
Science, Innovation and Foreign Trade, stated that 'On the
basis of the solid collaboration with UNESCO's Intergovernmental
Oceanographic Commission (IOC)
and the results achieved by the Ocean Data and Information
Network for Africa (ODINAFRICA),
the Flemish government decided in 2003 to host the IODE Project
Office in Ostend'.
went on to say that 'In the dramatic context of the tsunami
disaster that struck so many countries in the Indian Ocean
on 26 December last, we must pay tribute to UNESCO's rapid
response and acknowledge the excellent work done by the IOC.
'In response to the IOC's appeal, I decided to bolster the
expert training programme related to data and information
management. Special attention will be paid to training experts
on early warning systems related to large-scale natural phenomena.
Accordingly, the IODE Project Office will receive an additional
annual contribution of 500,000 euros'.
In the 42 years since IODE was launched by UNESCO's IOC, Member
States have established over 60 oceanographic data centres
in as many countries. The network has been able to collect,
control the quality of, and archive, millions of ocean observations
which it makes available to Member States. The worldwide service-oriented
network works through designated national agencies and both
world and national oceanographic data centres.
ODINAFRICA assists the participating countries to establish
and operate National Oceanographic Data Centres and to develop
a wide range of data and information products that cover both
the individual countries and Africa as a whole. All data and
information are made available freely and openly, in full
accordance with the IODE Data Policy. In addition, all ODINAFRICA
partners have full access to data hosted by other data centres
of the global IODE family.
twenty members of ODINAFRICA are: Benin, Cameroon, Comoros,
Côte D'Ivoire, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Madagascar,
Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal,
Seychelles, South Africa, United Republic of Tanzania, Togo
and Tunisia. The ODINAFRICA website is co-ordinated by the
Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute in Mombasa but
maintained jointly by all partners.