22nd July 2024

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GMEs and Africa Forum makes strides

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GMEs

Sharon Kavhu

Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt – The partnership of Europe and Africa on Earth Observation (EO)- GMES and Africa has made signification strides towards its objectives in line with the African Union (AU) Agenda 2063 and African Space Policy and Strategy that advocate for the promotion of environmentally sustainable and climate resilient economies and communities.


This was revealed by Catherine Gyhoot, a representative of the European Commission at official opening ceremony of the First GMES and Africa Phase 2 Forum in Sharm El-Sheikh. The convention is being held under the theme: Earth Observation for Resilience and Innovation in Africa.


Delivering her remarks, Gyhoot highlighted on three of the many achievements attained by the partnership since the launch of the second phase of the forum.


“I have chosen 3 significant ones that mark out a path that we are building together namely: the launch of the second phase of the GMES and Africa; the inauguration of the EU-AU Space Dialogue and the preparation of a new programme: Africa-EU Space partnership,” she said.


She said that the launch of the second phase of the GMES and Africa in early 2022 confirmed the needs and common interests in Africa-EU Earth observation partnership.


“We want to continue this long standing and fruitful collaboration that begun 20 years ago in the file of meteorology and climatology with meteosat in Environment with Copernicus, while adapting it to new African expectations,” added Gyhoot.


Gyhoot also noted that the GMES and Africa Forum will focus on reinforcing the EO innovation ecosystem, engage the many institutional players and of the society, the private sector, the academia.
According to her, the European Union Commission is proud to work hand in hand with the African Union Commission on EO and the Forum, and the organisation is keen to continue supporting it.


The first EU-AU Space Dialogue that took place in Dakar in October was a great achievement for the GMES and Africa Forum as it gathered key high level policy actors of space partnership from both Earth Observation and Satellite communication. Gyhoot indicated that this was the first ever EU-AU Space dialogue.


“It marks a new era in our collaboration in Space. We want co construction, win-win and sustainable partnership. GMES and Africa paves the way to it,” she Gyhoot.


She said that the third milestone of the partnership is centred on the new space programme that will be jointly implemented by the African Union Commission and European partners such as the European Space Agency and EUMETSAT.


“The programme will contribute to enhance institutional and innovation space cooperation framework. It will improve the capacity to produce and deliver space-based services and applications, data and information, for green transition. And, finally, it will strengthen African space private sector ecosystem and industrial cooperation.” Said Gyhoot.

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She said the actions are key at policy and operational levels as they pave ways for the partnership to overcome global challenges that the two continent face.


The ongoing GMES and Africa Phase 2 Forum is an continental interactive engagement platform for EO service providers, policy makers, academia, private sector, societies and end users to dialogue on the best ways to tailor services for the benefit of the communities. The convention will see eight consortia leading a network of over 120 national and regional institutions will present their achievements over the last 2 years’ duration programme implementation.


The main objectives of the Forum are to: discuss achievements and lessons learnt from the last years of the phase 2 of GMES and Africa, and the way forward to the end of the programme in 2025; build on success stories in EO, map out the potential partnerships, and engage stakeholders for assuring sustainable ownership, and linking with existing initiatives.
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