African Union Commission Awards Thirteen Consortia of Institutions to Implement the GMES and Africa Support Program

The Global Monitoring for Environment and Security and Africa (GMES & Africa) initiative, also known as GMES and Africa Support Program, is the crystallization of the longstanding cooperation between Africa and Europe in the area of space science & technology, which is one of the key priorities of the long-term EU-Africa Joint Strategy. 

(African Union)–The African Union Commission (AUC) officially awards grants to thirteen successful consortia of institutions that will serve as Regional Implementing Centers for the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security and Africa (GMES and Africa) Support Program. The award ceremony holds on the margins of the 5th AU-EU Summit in Abidjan, Cote d`Ivoire.

Following a Call for Proposals in May 2017, a number of African institutions operating in the areas of water, natural resources, marine and coastal areas, applied for the GMES and Africa Support Program Grants. To evaluate the applications and select the most suitable consortia of institutions that submitted proposals, the African Union Commission instituted a committee supported by a team of assessors comprising African earth observation experts.

Thirteen consortia of institutions were finally selected and the award marks the official announcement of their selection.

1. Central Africa: Agence Gabonaise d’Etudes et d’Observations Spatiale (AGEOS) and Commission Internationale du Bassin Congo-Oubangui-Sangha (CICOS) for Water and natural resources service.

2. East Africa:
• IGAD Climate Prediction and Application Center (ICPAC) and Regional Center for Mapping off Resources for Development (RCMRD) for Water and natural resources service
• Mauritius Oceanography Institute (MOI) for Marine and coastal areas service

3. North Africa:
• National Authority for Remote Sensing & Space Sciences (NARSS) for marine and coastal area service
• Observatoire du Sahara et du Sahel (OSS) for water and natural resources service

4. Southern Africa:
• Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) for marine and coastal areas service
• Southern African Development Community Climate Services Center (SADC-CSC) and Southern African Science Service Center for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management (SASSCAL) for water and natural resources service

5. West Africa
• Centre de Suivi Ecologique (CSE) and Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria (CSSTE-Obafemi) for water and natural resources service
• University of Ghana (UG) for marine and coastal areas service

At the award ceremony, the Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology at the African Union Commission, Professor Sarah Anyang Agbor, felicitated the successful institutions on their selection, which she said was based on their experience and proven capacities. She implored them to deliver the goods, and promised the African Union Commission’s unflinching support.

About GMES and Africa
GMES and Africa Support Program is a 30 million Euro joint program co-financed by the European Commission and the African Union Commission. It will use and adapt the Copernicus Program data and services to the African context. It is designed to specifically respond to African needs with respect to services related to water, natural resources, marine and coastal areas and to address global needs to manage the environment, mitigate climate change and ensure civil security. It is to enable the implementation of the African Space Policy and Strategy, formulated to harness the continent’s capabilities in utilizing space science and technology for economic growth and sustainable development. In the implementation agreement, the African Union Commission is the ‘delegated authority’ responsible for the management of the program.

GMES & Africa Program aimed is at improving African policy-makers’, planners’, scientists’, business and private sector and citizens’ capacities to design, implement, and monitor national, regional and continental policies and to promote sustainable management of natural resources through the use of Earth Observation data and derived information.

GMES & Africa introduced several key innovations: for the first time, with the inclusion of the North African countries, the Program is pan African. It is managed fully by the African Union Commission, through the Human Resources, Science and Technology (HRST) Department. It engages the African private sector as well as national and regional academia.

Source: African Union
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