The first forum of the GMES & Africa Support Programme is one of the communication platforms that encourages and promotes the exchange of views among Earth Observation
service providers and end-users at the grassroots level in Africa. The first forum is co-organised by the African Union Commission and the Government of Gabon through the Agence Gabonaise d’Études et d’Observation Spatiale (AGEOS).
It is scheduled to be held from 19th to 23rd November 2018 in Libreville, Gabon. The theme of the first GMES and Africa Forum is “Unlocking the potential of Earth Observation as a key driver of Africa’s sustainable development”. Satellites from space are collecting huge amounts of high resolution images in real and/or near real time basis with great potential to be utilized for different applications meeting day to day operations of people in various sectors. Hence, the forum would address how to unlock the potential of Earth Observation data and support the socio-economic transformation for the achievement of the Africa We Want, as articulated in the Agenda 2063. It would also discuss what the GMES and Africa support Programme delivers to the user communities in Africa. About 250 representatives of Earth Observation service and data providers, grassroots level users, decision makers, academia, the private sector, research institutions from Africa and all over the world are already in Libreville, Gabon for the five-day event.
The primary objective of the forum is to :
- Strengthen communication and exchange between EO technical experts and various end users in an attempt to increase technology user uptake;
- Present the status of the GMES and Africa and its implementation at continental, regional and national levels;
- Deliberate on the role of academia in mainstreaming Earth Observation applications in the university curriculum;
- Demonstrate new and innovative EO technologies to different end users for visibility enhancement;
The idea for the GMES & Africa initiative dates back to December 2007. Meeting in Lisbon, European and African stakeholders decided to submit an action plan on how GMES could help Africa.