Use of AI in Predicting Trends in Vegetation Dynamics in Africa

Use of AI in Predicting Trends in Vegetation Dynamics in Africa

Jean-Éric Pelet, Santiago Belda, Dounia Arezki
Copyright: © 2023 |Pages: 26
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-9220-5.ch003
(Individual Chapters)
No Current Special Offers


Artificial intelligence is the key to profound changes in Africa. It creates as many opportunities as challenges, and to achieve this, foreign capital is welcome. Through a precise description of the possible modes of financing, making it possible to support entrepreneurs and managers of SMEs/ETIs, this article presents the solutions that can be envisaged and to be developed, which the actors of a booming African continent could seize, with a view to achieving ambitious, sustainable development and leading to equitable solutions for its inhabitants that it expects. As an example, in the field of agriculture, AI makes it possible to work on soil aridity. Using earth monitoring techniques, the authors have been able to retrieve vegetation seasonal trends in an African agricultural region. Results are presented to explain how AI can help agriculture through time-series satellite images and chlorophyll collected from the area. Future ways of research and limits are also presented, before concluding.
Chapter Preview

Background: The Evils Suffered By Africa

Chronic Political Instability

In the fall of the colonial system, peace and stability were two of the main challenges African countries faced because of their political and institutional history. Although the colonial period was short-lived, it had strong impacts and participated in the complete remodeling of the continent as it is underlined in many works including « General History of Africa, vol. 7 » (UNESCO). It created new states, redefined the stakes of power, reoriented economic structures crystallized new interests... The risk, under these conditions, was to see the continent sink into interminable border wars after the end of colonial regulation (Shillington, 1995).

A posteriori, Africa does indeed appear to be “the region of the world most affected by armed struggles or political crises that bear the seeds of war” (Shillington, 1995). As it can be seen on the map, (Figure 1) a significant number of African countries which is far from exhaustive was affected by some form of conflict between the first independence and the early 1990s. (Tableau Public, 2019). Compared to Europe and the United States, Africa has experienced a higher number of conflicts. Their number also remained high until 2002, a period from which they seem to decrease (Tableau Public, 2022).

Figure 1.

A security gap that shows African conflicts have occurred over the last 15 years - Source: Tableau Public - Interactive map located on the website:!/vizhome/15YearsOfArmedConflictsInAfrica-V2/15YearsOfConflictsInAfrica-v2 - Extracted from Internet on 02/28/2022


Since 2010, West Africa has experienced an intensification of violence and an increase in conflicts (Amnesty International). While the growth prospects seem very encouraging, these difficulties could hamper its future development and fuel the question about the economic and social advances made by the countries of the sub-region (Mali, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, etc.). West Africa has indeed been destabilized by outbreaks of violence, the resurgence of conflicts and the rise of religious extremism, in particular in Mali and northern Nigeria (RFI, 29.09.2013). Drug trafficking and maritime piracy have also quickly taken root there, contributing to the lasting weakening of countries like Guinea-Bissau. The main challenge for the sub-region will be to overcome violence and fragility in its most vulnerable areas to let continue the impressive progress made over the past decade in strengthening democracy and economic development.

There is dramatic record characterized by an infant mortality rate of 74 per 1000 compared to an average of 44 per 1000 worldwide and 6 per 1000 in the United States and Europe. While life expectancy is 70 years on average globally, it is only 63 years in Africa (INED).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Diaspora: It’s the dispersion or spread of any people from their original homeland. African diaspora represent physical persons of African descents who are in France.

Crypto Money (or Cryptocurrency): A cryptocurrency, crypto-currency, or crypto is a digital currency designed to work as a medium of exchange through a computer network that is not reliant on any central authority, such as a government or bank, to uphold or maintain it.

FAPAR (Fraction of Absorbed Photosynthetically Active Radiation): The fraction of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (FAPAR, sometimes also noted fAPAR or fPAR) is the fraction of the incoming solar radiation in the photosynthetically active radiation spectral region that is absorbed by a photosynthetic organism, typically describing the light absorption across an integrated plant canopy.

Earth Monitoring Techniques: Artificial intelligence (AI) is playing an increasingly important part in our daily lives, whether it is providing our personalized social media feeds, online shopping, or streaming movie suggestions, or even the mapping apps that route us around traffic jams. On a bigger scale, AI is already having a major impact on healthcare, finance, farming and many other sectors and its influence is predicted to expand rapidly in the coming years. One area where there is considerable untapped potential for AI is in the field of Earth observation through Earth Monitoring Techniques that can be used to help manage large datasets, find new insights in data, and generate new products and services.

Crowdfunding: Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising money from a large number of people, in modern times typically via the Internet. It is a form of crowdsourcing and alternative finance. In 2015, over US$34 billion were raised worldwide by crowdfunding.

Blockchains: A blockchain is a growing list of records, called blocks, that are linked together using cryptography. Each block contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block, a timestamp, and transaction data (generally represented as a Merkle tree). The timestamp proves that the transaction data existed when the block was published to get into its hash. As blocks each contain information about the block previous to it, they form a chain, with each additional block reinforcing the ones before it. Therefore, blockchains are resistant to modification of their data because once recorded, the data in any given block cannot be altered retroactively without altering all subsequent blocks.

FabLab: Fabrication laboratory is a small-scale workshop offering (personal) digital fabrication. A fab lab is typically equipped with an array of flexible computer-controlled tools that cover several different length scales and various materials, with the aim to make “almost anything”. This includes technology-enabled products generally perceived as limited to mass production.

Leaf Area Index (LAI): It is a dimensionless quantity that characterizes plant canopies. It is defined as the one-sided green leaf area per unit ground surface area (LAI = leaf area / ground area, m2 / m2) in broadleaf canopies. In conifers, three definitions for LAI have been used: Half of the total needle surface area per unit ground surface area, projected (or one-sided, in accordance the definition for broadleaf canopies) needle area per unit ground area, total needle surface area per unit ground area.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book: