GMES and Africa contributes for Evidence-Based Decision Making in Africa

Realizing the benefits of Satellite information for informed decision for sustainable development in Africa, the African Union Commission (AUC) expressed its commitment to collaborate with the Digital Earth Africa on: policy and regulatory frameworks for data sharing; analysis-ready data; capacity development; infrastructure and platforms.

Kenya's Deputy President Dr. William Ruto

It was stated during the opening session of back to back Earth Observation events: Launch of Digital Earth Africa; the 3rd Regional Centre for Mapping and Resources Development (RCMRD) International Conference; and the 4th African Group on Earth Observations (AfriGEOSS) Symposium which was held from 12 to 16 August 2019, in Nairobi, Kenya.

On the occasion, Kenya's Deputy President Dr. William Ruto said that the Government of Kenya will intensify its support to research through increased funding. The theme of the event is: Earth Observation for Evidence-Based Decision Making. The back to back events provided opportunity for various Earth Observation and Geospatial service providers, academia, policy makers, Earth Observation implementing agencies and end users. The event served as a platform for science and policy exchange, scientific paper and poster presentation in various services offered by the Geospatial domain academia, implementing agencies and local communities.

In 2018, the Assembly of the African Union adopted the Statute to legally establish the African Space Agency, and further, in 2019, endorsed Republic of Egypt to host the Agency. The African Space Agency is positioned to support the national space agencies by creating synergies and opportunities.

The African Union Commission through the GMES and Africa Programme is providing Earth Observation derived services for managing land based and marine resources in Africa. These  services are serving as inputs for evidence based decision making. As a Pan-African Programme, GMES and Africa, has developed a Training Strategy that among other things, accentuates the integration of ICT and Earth Observation, blending the academia and private sector in Earth Observation, and further focusing on value-added services that should accurately inform decision-making. The recently concluded survey on African private sector engaged in Earth Observation forms the basis for tapping into the African space industry. 

Digital Earth Africa (DE Africa) is a major program within the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and run by the DE Africa Program Office. It has a broad and representative Governing Board and Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). A Steering Committee for DE Africa was formed in 2018.