The 3rd meeting of the Policy Coordination and Advisory Committee, the governing body of the Global Monitoring for the Environment and Security, and Africa (GMES and Africa) ended yesterday.
The two-day meeting which commenced on 9 December at the African Union Commission Headquarters in Addis Ababa, focused on the implementation of Africa Outer Space flagship and earth observation objectives for sustainable development through collaborative efforts of stakeholders, as well as harnessing space science and technology for socio-economic development in Africa.
The meeting also provided a backdrop for constituent representatives of the governing body of the programme, made up of the Africa Union, the European Commission and component institutions, African Regional Communities and other public sector operatives with the Earth Observation industry, to interact and share views, and included briefings on ongoing projects of GMES and Africa, such as training, infrastructure and data, awareness and outreach.
Speaking at the meeting, the Director of Human Resources, Science and Technology at the African Union Commission, Dr Mahama Ouedraogo, highlighted the vital role GMES and Africa plays in the implementation of the African Outer Space flagship and within the framework of AU-EU cooperation. He underlined the Commission’s continued commitment to harnessing space science and technology for the continent’s sustainable development.
The representative of the European Delegation to the African Union in the GMES and Africa PCAC, Pietro Nardi, said the meeting serves as a scaffold for addressing policy concerns and progressing with the actual implementation of the programme. He noted that GMES and Africa represents a concrete step towards the actualisation of the African Outer Space Programme and contributes to achieving the goals that Africa and Europe have set themselves in the context of several collaborative frameworks.
GMES and Africa is an Earth Observation programme of the African Union, jointly established with the European Union, and designed to strengthen capacities in Africa for the optimal exploitation and utilisation of Earth Observation systems, data and technologies towards the continent’s sustainable development. As the governing body of the GMES and Africa, PCAC steers actions and ensures coordination among stakeholders to facilitates delivery and results. It also contributes to the prioritisation of regional policies and frameworks in the delivery of services by the programme, and advises the Africa Union Commission on strategic issues on the programme implementation.