The African Union Commission (AUC) officially awarded grants to thirteen successful consortia of institutions that will serve as Regional Implementing Centres for the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES and Africa) Support Programme.
At the award ceremony on 28 November, held on the margins of the 5th AU-EU Summit in Abidjan, 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.
Paolo Ciccarelli, Head of Unit for Cities, Local Authorities, Digitalisation, and Infrastructure at the European Commission, Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development, highlighted: 'The Initiative is aimed at ensuring European support for the development of Africa's own capabilities in the field of earth observation and applications related to satellite technology. It is the continuation of 15 years of cooperation in the field of earth observation'.
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 Programme Grants. Thirteen consortia of institutions were finally selected and the award marks the official announcement of their selection.
GMES and Africa Support Programme is a 30 million Euro joint programme co-financed by the European Commission, through the Pan-African Programme, and the African Union Commission. The Programme aims at improving 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. 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. GMES and Africa introduced several key innovations: for the first time, with the inclusion of the North African countries, the Programme is pan African.