Dr. Tidiane Ouattara, PhD

Dr. Tidiane Ouattara is a distinguished space expert in various domains. Although his education is biased towards Earth Observation, his experience cuts across other disciplines such as Satellite Communication, Navigation and Positioning as well as Astronomy and Space Sciences.

Dr. Tidiane is currently the Space Expert and GMES & Africa Project Coordinator at the African Union Commission which is a continental coordination body consisting of the 55 member states that make up the countries of the African Continent. During his leadership, the African Space Policy and Strategy have been adopted by the Heads of State and Government  of all the 55 member States. The strategy focuses on four domains of space i) Earth Observation, ii) Satellite Communication, iii) Navigation and Positioning, iv) Astronomy and Space Sciences. Further, the African Space Agency has been established as an institution to coordinate, harmonize space activities on the continent and implement continental programmes. He has also led various bilateral arrangements between the Commission and international partners in space matters. Dr. Tidiane has also successfully led the first phase of GMES & Africa Program that focuses on applications of Earth Observation in Management of Water & Natural Resources as well as Marine and Coastal Areas. This project has actively brought together over 120 National and regional institutions to implement four pillars:

  1. Strentghening of Infrastructure Network and Data on the ontinent. This has been achieved through installation of direct satellite dta receiving stations from Sentinel
  2. Value anddition and delivery of EO services on the continent leading to some services being deployed on mobile phones and directly to end users such as fishing communities, inland river navigation, etc.
  3. Training and Education leading to skills and capacity improvements of over 3,000 technicians and decision makers in data processing, cloud computing, EO communication, service design, development and delivery, etc.
  4. Communication and engagement to effectively communicate the services developed

Dr. Tidiane also serves in the Board of the Digital Earth Africa initiative which is creating regional data cubes for easier navigation through archived data and development of prediction models.

Dr. Tidiane received a PhD and a master’s degree, both in Remote Sensing and Geographical Information System (GIS) from Sherbrooke University (Canada) respectively in 2001 and 1996. He also holds a master’s degree in physical geography from Université de Cocody-Abidjan (Côte-d’Ivoire). Fluently speaking English, French and Spanish, he has gained tremendous experience in international relations and business development, research and development (R&D), strategic policy development and program management issues related to environment, natural resources, and sciences and technology. Indeed Dr. Ouattara began his career in Canada as lecturer at Sherbrooke University from 1996 to 2001. He taught not only scientific courses, but also African geopolitics and sociocultural issues. After a brief stay with the private sector in Montreal, in 2002 Dr. Ouattara started working with the federal government of Canada. He successively occupied various positions:

At the Canadian Space Agency (2004-2006):

  • International Relations Manager in charge of Africa, Central and South America and United Nations. He was also covering Earth Observation, Navigation and Positioning, Robotics and Space Sciences portfolios.

At the Department of Natural Resources Canada (2002-2004 and 2006-2010):

  • Senior Science and Policy Advisor for the Assistant Deputy Minister, the Chief Scientist
  • Head of knowledge management, bilateral and multilateral strategies Unit
  • Manager of Canadian Digital Elevation Model Programme
  • Researcher and International Relations officer in geomatics (earth observation, mapping, GPS and Geographical Information System).

At the Department of Environment and Climate Change Canada (2010-2016):

  • Manager, Geospatial Data Management Section, Canadian Wildlife Service.
  • Head Manager, Landscape and Ecosystem Assessment Planning and Coordination Section, Canadian Wildlife Service

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