Application of Geo-Information Technology to National Security, Conflict Resolution and Transborder Cooperation: A Case Study of Nigeria-Sao Tome and Principe

Innocent E. Bello, John C. Nwagwu, Williams W. Edobor


This paper examines the evolution of boundaries in Africa with emphasis on Nigeria and São Tomé. It also appraises the existing bilateral relationship (treaty) between Nigeria and São Tomé with particular interest on the need for trans-border cooperation and peaceful co-existence as a panacea for conflict resolution. It further relates the importance of monitoring and managing the border and the territorial maritime space between the two countries using geoinformation science and technology (Satellite imaging/Remote Sensing, GIS and GNSS). Using documents appraisal and geo-spatial methodologies, Nigeria’s mile stone in space programmes was identified as a veritable area of joint partnership that can bridge the gap of conflicts arising from territorial spatial coverage, technical know-how, socio-cultural and political ventures. It was further highlighted that Strict adherence to the law of the sea and the already signed treaty would prevent possible conflicts considering the provisions inherent in it. This combined with an up-to-date digital map and satellite monitoring of the Joint Development Zone (JDZ) will ensure peaceful co-existence and respect for contiguous sovereign nation’s territorial right over the bordering waterways. The paper concluded that the fact that conflict exists, however, is not necessarily a bad thing: as long as it is resolved effectively, it can lead to national and international growth and development and this can be achieved chiefly through geoinformation science and technology.

Keyword: Border, Geoinformation, Joint Development Zone (JDZ), Treaty,  Satellite.

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