GMES and Africa Support Programme attended the third AfriGEOSS Symposium

Objective of G&A-SP's participation was mainly to communicate on the Programme's schedule and progresses, but also to contribute to exchanges, incl. with regional and national Programmes, implementing partners, End-Users and other EO data providers.

The 3rd AFRIGEOS Symposium was held in Libreville, Gabon, from 22 to 29 June 2018.

The theme of the 2018 edition was "Building smarter earth observations to support sustainable development policies". Eleven technical sessions covered various important topics for EO to leverage SD in Africa.

Among them,

  • The status of sustainable development issues and EO in Africa, 
  • The end users needs and expectations, 
  • The ongoing programmes (Food and security), water resource management, land cover and sustainable forest and biodiversity management, 
  • The Existing climate services for adapation and DRR, 
  • The innovative techniques and 
  • The engagement with commercial sector.

The Symposium pointed the importance of EO for sustainable policies of development. It also pointed that reach the end users is a complicated exercice and needs substantial improvements on the side of the service providers: Indeed, EO is not enough democratized, remains too technical and its application to facilitate daily activities of the African population is mostly done through projects and Programmes supported by backers.


The Symposium also showed that the usages of EO continuously increase, sustained by emerging opportunities (green economy, carbon credits, changing land uses, conversion of agriculture, concerns for better resources management, environmental consideration); and by the rise of new, flexible, and cheaper, technologies: mobiles, drones, and nanosatellites, cloud computing.

The representatives of the States also expressed their willingness to unite, pool efforts and conduct further reflections with a view to creating a continental earth observation body in the coming years.

In his power point presentation, Mr. Brice Montfraix, Technical Assistant to the GMES and Africa Programme, stated the level of achievements of the G&A-SP, and notably:

  • Thirteen awarded consortia of African Institutions will now start working on user demand driven applications to service fifty five Africa countries in the area of land based and marine resources in Africa, 
  • That - on the top of  the 195 environmental Stations (eStations) inherited from predecessor project - G&A-SP will deliver 20 new eStations, Copernicus Hub, Copernicus Data and Information Access Services (DIAS) utilized to access and process Earth Observation data.  

The GMES and Africa Support Programme is an African Union Programme. The programme is co-financed by the European Commission and the African Union Commission. The Programme uses Earth Observation data for marine and terrestrial applications in Africa.

The AfriGEOSS Symposium provides a platform for dialogue by the Earth observation community working in Africa. The Symposium attracted international Earth observations programmes and thereby providing a platform to foster global collaboration to advance use of Earth observations for a sustainable environment in Africa.

AfriGEOSS aims to provide the necessary framework for African countries and organizations as well as international partners to access and leverage on-going local and international bilateral and multilateral EO-based initiatives across Africa, thereby creating synergies and minimizing duplication for the benefit of the continent.

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