Advancing Africa's Future: GMES & Africa's Commitment to Earth Observation and Sustainable Development
By Paula Machio
In the field of Earth Observation (EO), GMES & Africa stands as an epitome of progress, actively shaping a future where African institutions are empowered with essential resources for sustainable growth. The initiative's Pan-African mandate aligns seamlessly with the AU Agenda 2063 and the African Space Policy and Strategy, advocating for environmentally sustainable and climate-resilient economies and communities.
GMES & Africa's impactful work extends particularly to the critical sectors of Water and Natural Resources, as well as Marine and Coastal Areas. By delivering on its commitment to strengthen the capacities of African institutions, the initiative paves the way for enhanced access to and exploitation of EO-based services. This strategic focus not only supports immediate needs but also contributes to the overarching goal of fostering resilience and innovation across the continent.
At the heart of GMES & Africa's mission is the dedication to providing valuable information to key stakeholders. Policymakers, scientists, businesses, academia, and end users benefit from this wealth of knowledge, disseminated through consortia of institutions implementing EO services and managing natural resource projects. This collaborative approach covers the five regions of Africa, ensuring a comprehensive and inclusive impact.
A testament to GMES & Africa's commitment to collaboration is its forum, a platform where stakeholders from diverse backgrounds converge to share insights, forge partnerships, and shape the trajectory of Earth Observation on the continent. This tradition continues with the eagerly anticipated First GMES & Africa Phase 2 Continental Forum, scheduled from November 27th to 30th, 2023, in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
Under the overarching theme of "Earth Observation for Resilience and Innovation in Africa," the forum aims to explore the transformative potential of EO in advancing resilience and fostering innovation. It serves as a pivotal moment for participants to engage in meaningful discussions, exchange ideas, and chart a course for the future of sustainable development in Africa.
One of the key consortiums driving the GMES & Africa program forward is the IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC). Focusing on monitoring natural resources and food security in the Eastern Africa Region, ICPAC plays a crucial role in enhancing security through initiatives such as Natural Habitats monitoring, tropical forests monitoring, and rangelands monitoring.
As GMES & Africa continues to evolve and expand its footprint across the continent, the First GMES & Africa Phase 2 Continental Forum marks a significant milestone. It symbolizes a united effort to harness the power of Earth Observation for the collective benefit of Africa's nations, reinforcing the vision of a sustainable, resilient, and innovative future.