The GMES and Africa Support Programme is opened to Consortia of regional implementing organizations led by RICs that have regional implementation mandates, regional coverage, and national linkages, among others.
Their involvement is covered by a Grant scheme of €17,5m, to finance the consolidation and or extension of applications developed under MESA, and or the development of new, and the execution of these activities according to the objectives.
This scheme also involves the private sector – i.e. African companies and potential European partners – in the development, consolidation, and extension of applications and encourages partnerships between private sector companies (including between African and European companies where appropriate).
The Consolidation of existing MESA services
During the identification phase of the Support Programme, it was observed that some services running in MESA were broken down into different components. Some of these services were too fragmented, yet it was deemed optimal to combine them and utilize the available capacities and infrastructure to produce the desired results. This is what is described as "consolidation". This consolidation exercise will be undertaken by awarded RICs. The expected impacts are numerous, among them: to improve the quality of the application in terms of accuracy and reliability, to provide a good opportunity to develop synergies and cooperation with other projects, to enable the reinforcement of regional networking and the mobilization of regional competencies, accessibility, and readability as well as dissemination of the application results and to provide ideal fora to access policymakers and agencies active in environmental management at the regional and national levels.
The Extension of running applications to other regions of the continent
Under the grants awarded to them, the awarded RICs will extend mature applications developed under MESA across the continent where required. The financial and technical implications of this responsibility will be charged to the RICs who will benefit from the grant, in close cooperation with the RIC which developed the application under MESA. AUC plays a facilitation role for the establishments of formal links between two or more parties if needed. The impacts include a reduction (avoiding duplication) of development efforts, reducing the cost of the services, inter-African capacity-building, and long-term cooperation between different RICs and other regional partners.
The Design and development of new applications
GMES and Africa has identified 11 new applications (7 for Water and Natural Resources Service and 4 Marine and Coastal Service) that were not implemented in MESA, the predecessor project. AUC is expected that these applications will be developed by some awarded RICs from the initial stage until they become operational.
Knowledge sharing among partners and across Africa
The grants will include incidentals to cover for the participation of RICs to meetings at the continental level (including meetings of the AU Technical working group in charge of discussing extension and continentalisation –see output 1 supra), and for RICs to organize training (see output 4 below).
The Grants Award Procedure
The AUC uses its own grants procedures to ensure that funds are spent in a transparent, efficient and fair manner.