Africa: GMES & Africa is a cooperation framework for the development and implementation of Earth observation based services that support sustainable development in Africa. One of the pillars of the cooperation is the European Copernicus programme (formerly GMES), which constitutes a major source of data, information and technological expertise. GMES & Africa will cover the entire African continent and will be guided by African-owned processes in order to serve African needs.
The GMES & Africa support project will focus on improving the sustainable management of natural, water, marine and coastal resources through the use of Earth observation technology. This will allow for better and more informed decision making and will assist policy makers. GMES & Africa is to be implemented by a network of African institutions in cooperation with European partners. The African Union Commission has the role of coordinator and facilitator.
Regional consultation meetings are now under way. The first conference has already taken place in Kigali, Rwanda with delegates from the East Africa region including the Indian Ocean Islands. Similar consultation and information meetings are planned for the regions of Western, Northern, Central and South Africa over the next weeks.
The GAF team assists the AUC by providing technical consulting, as well as training and capacity support. The teamleader started his assignment to AUC in Addis Ababa and he will be joined by 2 more long term key experts. They will be supported by specialists and back office resources. The GAF team combines the experience and capacities of three partners.
GAF AG, Germany is a European leader in end-to-end services in the field of Earth observation and geo-information, associated applications and technical assistance (TA) services. AHT Group AG, Germany is a leading service company in the domains of water and natural resources management, agriculture and nature conservation. BRL Ingénierie, France has leading experience in the management of coastal, maritime, water and land resources. All the partners have extensive experience of working in Africa.
Dr Stefan Saradeth, GAF Director International Consulting, observes: “GAF looks forward to using its extensive expertise in Earth observation in order to provide benefits to decision makers in Africa. With GAF’s more than 135 person years of accumulated Copernicus/GMES experience and its extensive TA portfolio, we feel confident that we and our team can provide best-in-class consulting services to our partners in Africa”.