21-22 June 2021, 2nd Joint Workshop of GMES and Africa Network of Universities

GMES & Africa programme established in 2019 an operational network of Academia. This establishment is in line with the Programme Description of Action and the recognition of the importance of Academia in Research, Development and Innovation. Members met for the 4th time, online, to continue the discussions and exchanges

Since conceptualization, GMES & Africa made it a requirement  that  each  eligible  consortium  must  have  an  Academia  institution  as  a  key partner, particularly but not limited to the capacity building work package. 

Among the lessons learned during the implementation is that Academia plays a key role in EO beyond capacity building. This is evident because two academic institutions are among the 12 consortia leaders (CSSTE and University of Ghana). Therefore,there is need to take initiatives that link together Academia in EO into a collaborative network. 

Objectives of the Workshop

  • Perform  a  review  on  the  progress  from  previous  discussions  and  come  up  with recommendations for the continuation of the Network
  • Learning important lessons from other existing Networks of Academia
  • Discuss the Sustainability mechanisms of the Network

The first day, 

Participants were refreshed on the reports and recommendations from the previous meetings of the Academia. 
  • The 1st meeting  was  organized  in  Abidjan,  from  29-31  May  2019  for  the  French  speaking institutions 
  • The 2nd meeting was organized on 4-6 November 2019 in Lusaka Zambia for the English-speaking universities
  • The 1st joint online meeting was held on 15 December 2020

The progress made were presented, as were the Learning Lessons From Existing Networks, Erasmus Mundus, Open Science Clubs by University of Ghana, the AUDA-NEPAD African Network of Water Centers of Excellence.

The  second  day  included  working  groups  to  allow  more  focused  discussions  on  subject matters, the strategy, the synergy.  A  polling  exercise  was launched  to  put  in  place  an  interim  leadership  committee  of  the  Network, 1 per region (composed of 1 male and 1 female).  

The interim leadership will run at least until the end of Phase 1 and it is expected to deliver the structure of the network, the terms of reference for the network and will participate in designing the GMES & Africa Hackathon event. 

Participants agreed that the Guiding Keyword for the Network is "Innovative EO Services and Solutions", derived from the conviction that the focus of GMES & Africa is evolving from the products to services through innovation. The Network of Academia will carry this motto and advocate for the new focus.