The African Geodetic Reference Frame (AFREF) is conceived as a unified geodetic reference frame for Africa - the fundamental basis for the national and regional reference networks. In March 2007, the first permanent GNSS reference station was launched in Kenya. Leica Geosystems supports the project with its knowledge, as well as via donation of a complete system.
Currently, African countries each maintain their own geodetic reference system. In the past, this resulted in mismatched maps at national borders or even in the same country; in Kenya alone there are currently two different mapping coordinate systems in use. The African Geodetic Reference Frame (AFREF) shall build a fundamental basis for a continent-wide reference network system, consisting of permanent Global Navigational Satellite Systems (GNSS) stations. The goal is to provide users free access to GNSS data and products, with a maximum distance of 500 km from the next reference station - anywhere in Africa.
Reference Station Network to guarantee Peace and Development
In March, the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) established the first permanent reference station in Kenya as part of the AFREF project. “As we move toward more regional integration and adopt regional approaches to peace and security, environmental management, trade and industry, we require maps that are accurate- both within each country and also across national boundaries. This will now be possible through the establishment of a common geodetic reference frame”, stated Prof. Kivutha Kibawana, Minister of Lands in Kenya, during the opening ceremony.
Global company to support the AFREF project
Leica Geosystems supports the AFREF projects with both its knowledge, and financial sponsorship by donating the complete system. The entire network consists of a Leica GRX1200 Pro GG receiver, a Leica AT504 GG Choke Ring antenna and the Leica GPS Spider Software and Site Server as well as the Leica GNSS QC Software for permanent quality control and data analysis. Joel van Cranenbroeck, Business Development Director GNSS at Leica Geosystems says: “AFREF will serve both the sub-Saharan region and the international community. It will increase capacity, modernize and harmonize geodetic reference networks in the country, thus strengthening survey work and providing accurate data to support the private sector as well as business and policy makers. As a global acting company, it is within our interest to help establish a geodetic network for Africa with the most advanced technology!”