GMES and Africa Coordinator harps on the need for an integrated African Space Programme

The Coordinator of the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security and Africa (GMES and Africa) Programme and Space Science Expert at the African Union Commission, Dr. Tidiane Ouattara, has underlined the importance of Space Science and technology in ensuring the sustainable use of natural resources in Africa. 

Dr. Ouattara, who delivered the keynote Wednesday morning at the opening of the first international Workshop of the African Initiative for Planetary and Space Sciences (AFIPS), dwelt on the contributions of Space Policy and Strategy to enhancing Planetary and Space Sciences Programme in Africa. He highlighted the crucial need of a well-coordinated and integrated African Space Programme that is responsive to the social, economic, political and environmental needs of Africa. “Space-derived products and services are a decision support tool in addressing the economic, political, social and environmental challenges facing the continent”, Dr. Ouattara posited.

Organized jointly by the Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institutes (ESSTI) and Bahir Dar University, the four-day workshop seeks to strengthen the African vision for enhancing planetary and space science programmes. It centers on the theme “Strengthening the African Vision to Develop Planetary and Space Sciences”. Participants discussed the current status and challenges facing African planetary and space science. The high level panel discussion at the AFIPS workshop also touched on Planetary and Space Sciences in Africa, Planetary and Space Sciences Technology, Planetary and Space Science Training, as well as Research & Development for Space Applications.

Africa has embarked on the advancement of its Planetary and Space Science agenda to address socio-economic development problems and to tackle contemporary societal challenges. The Global Monitoring for Environment and Security and Africa (GMES and Africa), is a joint AU-EU operational programme, demonstrating how Earth Observation data from space serves as a decision support tool for users in managing land, marine and environmental resources in Africa.