Closing Ceremony of the Second Continental GMES and Africa Forum

The second continental forum of the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) and Africa has lived up to its billing of charting a new course on leveraging Earth observation to power environmental sustainability and socio-economic growth in Africa. Furthermore, the week-long event (December 6-10, 2021) has been focused on utilising EO services and applications to foster environmental and long-term natural resource management for human development. It was also the platform where the achievements and lessons from the first phase of GMES and Africa Programme and an avenue for different partners to utilise new and innovative EO technologies for Africa’s sustainable development.

In his closing remark, the EU ambassador to Cote d’Ivoire, Jobst von Kirchmann, thanked AU for demonstrating extraordinary leadership and the minister for his engagement. Furthermore, he noted that the Ivorian government has helped establish that it can be a great scientific hub for the entire continent. He also appreciated the GMES and Africa’s European partners, including Copernicus. In addition, Ambassador Kirchmann also thanked the participants for stepping up and showing that Africa has a good earth observation (EO) ecosystem. He subsequently reiterated the importance of training, outreach and awareness programmes to ensure that the EO products and services being developed by the different consortia are utilised at the local, national and regional levels to make informed decisions. To this end, Kirchmann mentioned that there would be more training, workshops and capacity development programmes during the second phase of the GMES and Africa programme to ensure the right talent pool for Africa’s sustainable development. Also, Ambassador Kirchmann noted that he has listened to all the recommendations made by everyone for the second phase. Lastly, he addressed the private sector and charged them to be more innovative. 

Read Highlights of the Second Continental GMES and Africa Forum; Day 4.

In his closing remarks, the GMES and Africa Programme coordinator, Dr Tidiane Ouattara, appreciated the commitment of all the stakeholders, including the foreign partners, the consortia, and all the other institutional partners, to the success of the first phase of the GMES and Africa Programme. According to Dr Tidiane, history will never forget that the Ivorian government saved the AU by accepting to host the forum at such short notice. On this note, he thanked the president of Cote d’Ivoire, Alassane Ouattara, the Prime Minister, Excellency Patrick Achi, Ivorian Minister for Environment and Sustainable development, Luc Assi. He noted the forum had achieved its aim of creating a platform for networking among EO practitioners. According to Dr Tidiane, the conference is a conclusion of the first phase and that the AUC strongly believes that the achievements discussed brought recommendations and that these recommendations will be accounted for and adequately implemented in the second phase of the GMES and Africa Programme. Also, he noted the good news from Excellency Patrick Achi,  who recognised that Cote d’Ivoire is now equipped with a data centre and will create a new space agency. Furthermore, he noted how the forum brought together people from various countries and diverse cultural backgrounds to answer Africa’s call for sustainable social, economic and environmental development by leveraging EO tools. 

The GMES and Africa Programme coordinator, Dr Tidiane Ouattara giving his closing remarks

Also, Dr Tidiane admitted that the programme had created a family and appreciated the EU for supporting Africa during the programme’s implementation, noting that they had been with Africa for a considerable period. According to Dr Tidiane, the support was multifaceted and ranged from finance, policy, infrastructure to strategy. On the training and capacity development front, he noted that the commission is committed to training young professionals to acquire the required knowledge and skills to drive Africa’s sustainable development. Also, he believed that the persons that the commission sponsored have learned, networked and are not afraid to break boundaries to innovate to make this a reality. Dr Tidianne also charged ladies to take their position within the African space ecosystem and noted creating an African Union Commission’s (AUC) group for ladies to direct their activities. Lastly, he implored everyone to leverage the information gathered in the last five days to implement the recommendations made at the forum at local and national levels.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.