African Institutions to Benefit from Free Access to Copernicus Data

Signing ceremony of cooperation arrangement between the AUC and EC. Image Source: GMES & Africa

The African Union Commission (AUC) and the European Commission (EC) are about to roll out an initiative that will avail African institutions free access to Copernicus data. The initiative is grounded on an agreement signed in 2018 between the two commissions, to be implemented jointly by the European Space Agency (ESA) and 12 pioneer African institutions.

A kick-off meeting between the AUC, EC, ESA and the participating institutions was held recently, to discuss the technical operating approach to be adopted by all the parties involved in the initiative.

Based on a first assessment, Africa has different needs in terms of access to Sentinel data, which is why ESA plans to design an approach that mirrors data requirements in the five regions of Africa. The beneficiary institutions will access Sentinel data through Data Hubs operated by ESA, Copernicus Data and Information Access Services, exploitation platforms, and through Hub to Hub exchanges of Sentinel data.

The application of Copernicus Sentinel data has contributed to socio-economic development in. It has been instrumental in driving successful environmental and water resources management; renewable energy; climate change monitoring; tourism; as well as disaster management.

The initiative to avail such data access to African institutions comes against the background of a burgeoning African Space programme, one of the flagships of the Agenda 2063 development blueprint. To this end, the AUC developed an African Space Policy and Strategy to harness and deploy the continent’s potential in utilizing space towards its socio-economic endeavours.

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New Report: The 2020 Edition of African Space Industry Annual Report is now available. It presents data and analyses on projects, deals, partnership and investments across the continent. It also provides analyses on the growing demand for space technologies and data on the continent, the business opportunities it offers and the necessary regulatory environment in the various countries.

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