The AUC HRST Commissioner delivers a trailblazing speech during the opening of the Joint weblive G&A-MOi-LaTribune

Few days ago, GMES and Africa, and Mercator Ocean International, participated in a weblive on the opportunities that mobile technologies represent for marine applications based on Earth Observation. Flashback on the introductory speech of The Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology at the African Union Commission, H.E Professor Sarah Anyang Agbor.

Africa is on the move, to leverage its development trajectory from the vast potential of its ocean and marine resources. The Blue Economy is the emerging paragon of productivity and growth, with unrivalled possibilities for job creation for the continent’s burgeoning youth population. If there are any barriers to this realization, one remains the lack of access to data, or its unaffordability, for the teeming mass of African end users of marine applications and products. 

In her introductory speech, H.E. Sarah Anyang Agbor has evoked the strategies laid out in various policy blueprints of the AU, including space science and sustainable partnerships, to crack through the challenges posed by data access and technology. To her, these are pathways to unlocking the doors to limitless opportunities offered by the Blue Economy, and to youth innovation and employment.

Her Excellency first recalled that this weblive is one more stone in the long and fruitful collaboration between Africa and Europe in the field of space science and technology. She also recalled that other white stones mark the commitment of Africa: the Agenda 2063, the African Space Strategy and Policy, the support program "GMES and Africa" and its declinations (projects) in the marine field.

Mrs. Agbor emphasized that the blue economy is an important area of intervention for the African Union, and represents a new front line towards the rebirth of Africa and the development of several current and emerging economic sectors. 

On this path, however, she regretted that a large proportion of users and populations living on the resources of the ocean are left behind, that they cannot afford the information nor technology that would allow them to improve their livelihoods. This is where mobiles are worthwhile.  

For her, pushing the boundaries of mobile technologies in this area is a challenge for Africa's youth and countless young African entrepreneurs. They must seize the limitless opportunities offered by the Blue Economy now and roll up their sleeves. Besides, this aspiration is perfectly in line with the AUC Chairman's "One million by 2021" initiative, which advocates for the creation of employment, entrepreneurship, education and engagement - 4Es - opportunities for Africa's youth, in order to actively and usefully promote the full realization of Agenda 2063.