3rd Meeting of EU-Africa P8 European Experts Group in JAES Action Plan II (2011-2013) held on 3 May 2012
The 3rd European Experts Group meeting of EU-Africa Partnership 8 (EEG8) of the Joint Africa-Europe Strategy (JAES) Action Plan II (2011-2013) took place at the European External Action Service (EEAS) premises, Brussels, on 3rd May 2012, chaired by the European Co-Chair of the EU-Africa P8 since March 2011, Luis Magalhães (Portugal), to take stock of the developments in the respective areas of Science, Information Society and Space.
The meeting counted with 21 participants, of which 12 from 8 Member States (Belgium, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Malta, Portugal), 7 from the European Commission Directorates-General DEVCO, RTD, INFSO and ENTR, and 2 from the European External Action Service (EEAS). The ERAfrica coordinator was also invited to participate to report on the activities of this ERANet.
The meeting involved taking stock of the EU-Africa P8 implementation, debating the main policy issues of the Partnership, the approval of the Rules of Procedure (RoP) of the EEG8, a discussion on working methods and the preparation of the JEG8 meeting (see the minutes of the 3rd EEG8 meeting of the JAES Action Plan II (2011-2013)). The following EEG8 meeting was called for 4 June 2012.
The EU-Africa Partnership 8 (EU-Africa P8), on Science, Information Society and Space, has been characterized by a high level of implementation of initiatives and projects. However, there has been a high difficulty to convene the Joint Experts Group of the EU-Africa P8 (JEG8) as several agreed dates for such a meeting have been successively postponed at the request of the African side, Co-chaired by Tunisia. Finally, a JEG8 meeting took place in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on 8, 10-11 May 2012, on the occasion of the IST Africa 2012 Conference, 9-11- May. This was a meeting considered very successful by the participants. It involved more than 100 participants from 42 States (22 African and 20 European States) and included representatives of European Commission, EEAS and African Union Commission, a larger attendance than any of the previous JEG8 meetings within the JAES Action Plan I (2008-2010).
The next JEG8 meeting will be in Cape Town, South Africa, on 6-8 November 2012, following an event on the preceding day on the EDCTP – European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Platform.
Some milestones of the EU-Africa P8 implementation are:
- A very high number of projects and initiatives having been or being implemented, such as: 19 “Lighthouse Projects”, High Level Policy Dialogue on S&T, African Union Research Grants, S&T II Programme of the ACP – Africa Caribbean and Pacific Research for Sustainable Development, Science Prizes for Africa, FP7 Africa Call, ERAfrica, INCO-Net CAAST-Net – Coordination and Advancement of Sub-Saharan Africa-EU S&T Cooperation Network, PAERIP – Promoting African-European Research Infrastructure Partnerships, France-Germany-Africa Coordinated Call for Sub-Sahara Africa, France-Brazil-Africa coordinated call being planned, ERAfrica Call planned for the beginning of 2013 with funding from Africa and Europe Member States (MS), AfricaConnect project to establish a high-capacity Internet network for research and education in Southern and Eastern Africa, AXIS – AfricanInternet Exchange System, HIPSSA – Harmonization of the ICT Policies in Sub-Sahara Africa, African Virtual Campus, ALICT – African Leadership in ICT, Living Labs in Africa, IST Africa, EuroAfrica P8, GMES and Africa– Global Monitoring for Environment and Securityand Africa, BRAGMA – Bridging Actions for GMES and Africa, AMESD – African Monitoring of Environment for Sustainable Development, MESA – Monitoring of the Environment for Security in Africa, DesertWatch, EAMNet – Europe-Africa Marine EO Network, GARNET-E – GMES for Africa Regional Network for Information Exchange and Training in Emergencies, MALAREO – Earth Observation (EO) in Malaria Vector Control and Management, REDDAF – Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation in Africa: Improved Forest Monitoring Services in Developing Countries, REDDINESS – Support EO-driven forest and carbon monitoring in Central Africa for REDD – Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation, TIGER II related to sustainable water use, flooding patterns, water quality monitoring, sedimentation modeling, groundwater resource assessment, hydrological and environmental aspects of wetlands and climate change impacts, among many others, WATPLAN – Spatial Earth Observation Monitoring for Planning and Water Allocation in the International Incomati Basin.
- Much higher opportunities of collaboration and funding in FP7 for African partners, namely more than 800 participations of African organizations in R&D projects and more than 120 M€ for African organizations.
- Identification of areas of special relevance for collaboration, such as:Agriculture, Energy, Water and Sanitation, Health, Food Security, Biotechnology, Environment, Desertification, Marine and Costal Areas, Natural Resources Management, ICT, Applied Mathematics and Computer Science, Innovation in SMEs.
- JEG8 meeting in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on 8, 10-11 May 2011, with more than 100 participants from 42 MS, (22 African and 20 European).
- Inaugural meeting of the High Level Policy Dialogue on S&T within EU-Africa P8, with a 1st Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) in Addis Ababa, on 10-11 October 2011.
- 6 meetings of the Task Force established to prepare the 1st SOM of the High Level Policy Dialogue on S&T within EU-Africa P8.
- 4 meetings of the High Level Policy Dialogue on S&T SOM Bureau.
- Inaugural meeting of the Information Society Implementation Group within IST Africa 2011, in Gaborone, Botswana, on 11-12 May 2011.
- 3 meetings of the “Space Troika”, 1 June 2011, 1-2 December 2011, 7 March 2012.
- 4 EEG8 meetings in the JAES Action Plan II (2011-13) da JAES, almost doubling the participation of MS from the first in March 2011 (6 EMs) to the fourth in June 2012 (11 EM).
- Meeting of the Science Subgroup of the EEG8 on 28 September 2011.
- 2 meetings of the EU-Africa P8 within the JAES Joint Task Force meetings,on 4 April 2011 and 8 March 2012.
- IST Africa 2011 Conference, in Gaborone, Botswana, on 9-11 May 2012, including a workshop on Living Labs.
- 4th Euro-Africa Cooperation Event on ICT Research, in Cape Town, South Africa, 14-15 November 2011, including workshops on IPv6, Future Internet, Security, Privacy and Trust in Networks and Global Services.
- IST Africa 2012 Conference, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on 9-11 May 2012, including workshops on Living Labs and GMES in Africa.
- In the 3rd EEG8 meeting the ERAfrica coordinator informed on the preparation of a call this ERA-Net will open at the beginning of 2013 on renewable energy, interfaces between different challenges (e.g., health and agriculture, agriculture and climate change), and Idea Driven Projects, with a funding of more than 8 M€, contributed on approximately equal parts by African and European MS.