Le Figaro Magazine features the GMES and Africa Programme

Le Figaro Magazine holds an exclusive interview with Dr. Tidiane Ouattara, Space Science Expert and the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security and Africa (GMES and Africa) Programme Coordinator at the African Union Commission (AUC), on the 13th September 2019 in his office at the AUC headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Dr. Tidiane Oauattara's exclusive interview with Le Figaro Magazine

Africa must utilize the benefits of space science and technologies for the socio-economic development of Africa and to address the environmental challenges of Africa, underlined Dr. Ouattara. The African Union Commission has put in place a clear policy and strategy on how Africa utilizes the space industry. 

The GMES and Africa Programme is a Pan African Programme that uses the Earth Observation component of the Space Science and Technology. Thirteen African institutions of consortia that received the GMES and Africa grants are providing Earth Observation derived information to support the decision making and management of Africa’s land and marine-based resources in fifty-five African countries. 

Dr. Ouattara cited a concrete example on how the fisheries industry in Ghana and West Africa are benefiting from the GMES and Africa Marine and Coastal Areas Service. The information on ocean weather, alerts artisanal fishermen in Ghana where to fish; when to go for fishing and when not to go for fishing. The EO derived information also is being utilized to track illegal fishing in West Africa. 

Africa has reach coastal water, 30 thousand Kilo Meters of Coastal line. Africa loses annually about 1.3 billion dollars through Illegal Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing. The African Union Commission through the GMES and Africa Marine and Coastal Services is supporting African countries in tracking IUU Fishing. 

The University of Ghana’s Regional Marine Center is the lead institution for the GMES and Africa consortium in West Africa comprising the Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research, Centre Universitaire De Recherche d'Application en Télédétection of Cote d’Ivoire, Institut de Recherches Halieutiques et Océanologiques du Bénin, Centre for Oceanographic Research of Dakar-Thiaroye in Senegal, Ghana Meteorological Agency, National Institute for Fisheries Development of Cape Verde, and Wetlands International Africa, based in Senegal. The University of Ghana consortium deals with forecasting of physical and biological oceanographic variables, information on ocean processes that impact fishing and safety of fishers. 

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