EO Africa R&D Announces Awarded Proposals

Fourteen African proposals were accepted at the European Space Agency and African Union Commission’s joint EO Africa Initiative’s Call for Research in 2021. The call for proposals was aimed at supporting African-European collaborative efforts to develop innovative, open-source EO algorithms and applications adapted to African solutions for African challenges.

The initiative welcomed proposals focused on the themes of water scarcity and food security expected to create EO algorithms and workflows by leveraging cutting-edge cloud-based data access and computing infrastructure. The benefits of acceptance included

  • A budget of up to 25,000 EUR for research activities during a period of 12 months;
  • Free access to cloud-based Virtual Research Environments through the Innovation Lab of the Facility;
  • Dedicated user and technical support;
  • Access to EO AFRICA Space Academy events; and
  • Integration into the EO AFRICA Network for international scientific collaboration. 

Consequently, a comprehensive and rigorous review of the 62 proposals received from research team leads in Africa and Europe, 26 proposals from 14 African and nine European countries were qualified for the second round of evaluation by the Selection Committee. This included all proposals “highly recommended” by the reviewers with a minimum overall score of 75/100.

Thus, considering aspects such as scientific excellence, innovative use of digital tools, impact on fostering the use of EO data and services in Africa, and geographic representation of Africa, the Committee in collaboration with ESA and AUC awarded 15 research projects listed below for funding from 12 African and nine European countries.

Title Countries CO-PIs
1. A workflow for forecasting primary productivity and its determining climatic factors using remote sensing in the eastern Sahel region South Africa- Hungary ELHADI ADAM and GERGELY TÓTH
2. Applying innovative cloud computing technology for the effective management of Groundwater resources to promote SUStainable food security within the Sokoto Basin, Nigeria Nigeria – UK OLAYINKA SIMEON OLADEJI and ALESSANDRO NOVELLINO
3. Crop Stress Monitoring in the semi-arid context of Doukkala, Morocco Morocco – Italy FATIMA-EZZAHRA EL GHANDOUR and CHIARA CORBARI
4.  DroughT impACt on the vegeTation of South African semIarid mosaiC landscapes: Implications on grass-crop-lands primary production South Africa – Spain TIMOTHY DUBE and ANA ANDREU
5.  Fusion of EO data for crop yield forecast in Benin and Morocco Morocco – Germany YOUSSEF BROUZIYNE and LUKAS LEHNERT
6. Improvement of Agricultural Statistics in the cotton zone of Mali thanks to the synergy of the Sentinel-1 and 2 time series Mali – Belgium SOULEYMANE SIDI TRAORE and PIERRE DEFOURNY
7.  Integration of open-source solutions with deep learning for estimating crop production in data-scarce smallholder farming areas Ethiopia – Austria DANIEL AYALEW MENGISTU and STEFAN LANG
8. Mapping and Monitoring Artisanal Mining from Space Ghana – Germany GERALD FORKUOR and TOBIAS ULLMANN
9. Monitoring by optical and radar satellite imagery of the level and volume of water in the lakes Buyo and Kossou dams in Côte d’Ivoire Côte d’Ivoire – France KOFFI FERNAND KOUAME and BENOIT MERTENS
10. Quantifying Soil Moisture from Space-based Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and Ground-based Geophysical and Hydrological Measurements Senegal – Spain AXEL LAUREL TCHEHEUMENI DJANNI and QI GAO
11. Rising with temperature! Reconstructing the hydroclimatic record of Lake Naivasha with Earth Observation Kenya – Netherlands DAVID ONGO and SUHYB SALAMA
12. Sentinel-1 and -2 data fusion for mapping smallholder cropping areas in southern Africa to support crop monitoring and yield forecasting Namibia – Germany ELIAKIM HAMUNYELA and MARTIN HEROLD
13. SENTINELs for Cape Verde Water & Food Security Monitoring Cabo Verde – Netherlands JACQUES DE PINA TAVARES and CHRIS MANNAERTS
14. Towards daily maps of water hyacinth cover: exploiting synergies between Sentinel-2 and 3 South Africa – Netherlands CLETAH SHOKO and MARLOES PENNING DE VRIES
15. West Africa Lake Monitoring System Benin – Netherlands DIJHOUESSI METOGBE BELFRID and JOHANNES VAN DER KWAST


The projects started following the EO Africa R&D session of the ESA’s Living Planet Symposium in Bonn, Germany, from May 23 to 27th 2022.


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