The Global Monitoring for Environment and Security and Africa (GMES and Africa) is one of the African Union Commission (AUC) flagship programmes through the Human Resource, Science and Technology (HRST) Department, co-financed by the European Commission and AUC. The GMES and Africa programme was borne out of the intention of both continents to move beyond a donor/recipient relationship towards long-term cooperation on jointly identified, mutual and complementary interests.
The pan-African programme serves to strengthen and further develop infrastructure for more coherent exploitation of EO data (space and in-situ), technologies and services in support of the environmental policies for sustainable development in Africa; and African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States. In addition, the GMES and Africa also utilise the Copernicus Earth Observation Programme data and services for use in the African context to respond to African needs concerning the development of water services and natural resources.
The GMES and Africa Support Programme phase 1 was signed between African Union Commission (AUC) and European Commission in December 2016 and ended in December 2021 for a total budget of EUR 30 million (USD 34 million). Also, the GMES and Africa Phase 2 started in January 2022 and will end in December 2025. The total investment of the European Commission to GMES and Africa phase 2 is EUR 24.65 million (USD 28 million).
To this end, GMES and Africa organised an award and kick-off ceremony to:
- Recognise the efforts of selected consortia for the implementation of the GMES Phase 2 Programme;
- Describe the GMES and Africa Phase 2 Action, and review its Implementation Plan;
- Provide visibility and strengthen the GMES and Africa brand;
- Enable the awarded consortia to discharge their contractual obligations effectively and efficiently through understanding GMES & Africa Description of action, finance, procurement, grant management in line with
- AUC policies, rules, and principles;
- Alleviate potential drawbacks in implementing the Grants that could arise due to limited understanding of the grants management system on the part of consortia.
The event will run from 14-18 March 2022 in Cotonou, Benin Republic. Also, participants from the high-level event include:
- Benin government representatives, Regional Economic Communities, AUC and EC officials, GMES and Africa Team, Selected Consortia for the phase 2, and other stakeholders;
- Private sector service providers, scientists, and academic institutions;
- Journalists and media, non-governmental organisations, and civil society.
Below is a picture gallery of the programme proceedings
- A keynote address by a representative from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
2. A keynote speech by the representative of the Government of Benin, His Excellency Ahoyo Maxime, Préfet Maritime.
3. A keynote address by the Commissioner of AUC’s Department of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, H.E Prof. Mohammed Belhocine
After the key partners’ keynote addresses and speeches, the Coordinator of GMES & Africa Programme, Dr Tidiane Ouattara, presented an overview of the GMES & Africa Programme.
During his presentation, Dr Tidianne discussed the socio-economic challenges affecting Africa’s sustainable development plans. “African sustainable development woes cut across several sectors including agriculture (natural resources and water management), energy, blue economy and digital infrastructure”, he added. He also explained how the proper implementation of the second phase of the GMES and Africa Programme through developing policies and regulations, developing socio-economic infrastructure and services, and security of people territories, goods and services can help alleviate these challenges.
Dr Tidianne also noted that the GMES and Africa Phase 2 would build on the success of the first phase of the GMES and Africa programme, especially in terms of the “principle of inclusiveness” through the consortia approach that ensured that no one was left behind. He then added that the second phase of the GMES and Africa Programme would adopt a similar approach, including:
- Eight (8) consortia ;
- Two (2) new outputs;
- Policy and institutional framework
- Knowledge sharing initiatives
- Focus on women and youth.
To implement the programmes under the second phase of the GMES and Africa, eight consortia have been selected, including:
- Centre de Suivi Ecologique (CSE) – Dakar, Sénégal
2. Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) – Pretoria, South Africa
3. IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC) – Nairobi, Kenya
4. Observatoire du Sahara et du Sahel (OSS) – Tunis, Tunisia
5. Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) – Nairobi, Kenya
6. Southern Africa Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management (SASSCAL), Windhoek, Namibia
7. University of Ghana (UoG) – Legon, Ghana
8. The International Commission of the Congo-Oubangui-Sangha Basin (CICOS) – DR Congo
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