Awareness Workshop on Space Positioning and Navigation & Timing in Africa – Challenges and Opportunities in Western and Central Africa

African Union Commission (AUC) and EGNOS Africa Joint Programme Office (JPO)

African Union Commission (AUC) and EGNOS Africa Joint Programme Office (JPO) are co-organising a high-level workshop on Implementation of Satellite Positioning and Navigation Services in Western and Central Africa. The workshop’s central theme is “Space Positioning and Navigation & Timing Solutions: challenges and opportunities in Western and Central Africa”. The workshop will take place in Accra from 22 to 23 February 2021. This collaboration is part of the ongoing initiative by AUC and JPO to raise and enhance awareness as well as engage AU Member States and Stakeholders in West and Central Africa Region with regards to Space Positioning, Navigation and Timings (PNT) Solutions. This will be the first of African Union regional series of high- level Awareness Workshops encompassing all Economic Sectors which may benefit from the Space PNT technologies.

It is in line with the ongoing framework of Joint Africa- EU Strategy adopted by the 3rd Africa- EU summit in Tripoli (Nov 2010) and re-affirmed during the successive Africa-EU Summits since 2014. Following an initial capacity-building period in 2014-2015, the “Support to EGNOS in Africa” programme started in 2016 with the primary objective to contribute to the improvement of aviation safety in Africa. This takes into consideration non-aviation applications of satellite navigation, thus contributing to economic and social development in Africa, in line with AU Space Policy and Strategy, as well as the Agenda 2063.

The specific objective of the Programme is to accelerate the adoption and development in Africa of Satellite Positioning and Navigation Services, in particular, the Satellite-Based Augmentation Systems (SBAS) based on the European EGNOS and Galileo programmes, primarily for the benefit of the civil aviation sector in order to improve safety and flight efficiency at acceptable costs JPO is a Pan-African instrument whose goal is to coordinate and assist African States in the implementation of programmes related GNSS/SBAS Service implementation for all types of Space-based applications including in Aviation, maritime, surveying, road, and railway transport sectors among others.

To this respect, JPO organised more than 19 workshops in Africa in the past five years including assessment and case studies in collaboration with the RECs and the Member States, which focused on the Aviation Community. JPO provides support to the continental planning on SBAS, including through regional mechanisms including towards stakeholders such as AUC/AFCAC and their Flagship Programmes (SAATM and Africa single/seamless sky). The past Period of the Action also earmarked development and extension of JPO portfolio of services with an upscale from an SBAS only to GNSS services in general including Galileo. JPO is a recognised Actor in Satellite Navigation, and Positioning Domain and an essential contributor to the implementation of AUC Space and Policy Strategy in Africa.

Purpose

The main objective of this workshop is to foster awareness amongst the AU Member States with regards to PNT to further develop engagement into this specific. This workshop aims at providing awareness among the participants in the Western and Central AU regions, covering 22 States.

Objective

The awareness workshop will provide participants with an opportunity to gain increased knowledge in the PNT domain both from operational and strategical views. It also aims at discussing potential opportunities to develop synergies between the Member States at regional and continental levels as well as with other active organisations and stakeholders with respect to PNT Sectoral development. In this regard, AUC and JPO with Ghana as the Host Country are organising a joint workshop to bring together the key actors from Western and Central Africa including ECOWAS and ECCAS representatives to elaborate on the PNT Services challenges and opportunities

Scope of the workshop

During the planned two days, presentations and discussions will be made on the PNT Domain and activities and ongoing initiatives. Thoughts will be shared on developing a common vision about PNT future in Africa. The following topics will be mainly covered:

  • Environmental Scan of the African Positioning and Navigation
  • Africa-EU cooperation framework on Satellite Navigation & the JPO
  • Potentialities of the PNT
  • National Initiatives: One for West Africa (Ghana) and one for Central Africa (TBD)
  • Way forward

Expected Outcome

The following outcomes are expected from the workshop:

  • High-level officials from West and Central Africa Regions are engaged on Satellite Positioning and Navigation Domain challenges and opportunities in Africa
  • The role and mandate of JPO are very well understood, as well as those of the different stakeholders.
  • Critical actions for synergies among the Member States and way forward are clearly stated for sustainable cooperation and engagement for Satellite Navigation and Positioning implementation in West and Central Africa.

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