GMES and Africa is Organising its Second Continental Forum

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Introduction

Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) and Africa is organising its second continental forum. It will centre on how Earth Observation can power environmental sustainability and socio-economic growth in Africa. This theme reflects the programme’s overarching mandate. This includes utilising EO services and applications to foster environmental and long-term natural resource management for human development. GMES & Africa has consequently been delivering on this Pan African mandate. In addition, the forum is the second and last continental forum of GMES & Africa’s first phase. Furthermore, it will hold from 6 to 10 December in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.

Objectives of the 2nd Forum of GMES & Africa

The main objectives of the forum are to:

  • Discuss achievements and lessons from the 1st phase of GMES and Africa, and the way forward to the GMES and Africa’s 2nd phase;
  • Provide an avenue for different partners to utilise new and innovative EO technologies for Africa’s sustainable environments and socio-economic development. The various partners include academia partners, NGOs, public sector, the private sector, and end-users;
  • Build on success stories in EO, map out potential partnerships, and engage stakeholders to ensure strong and sustainable ownership and link with existing relevant initiatives.

Expected Results

  • Key results, milestones, best practices and lessons learnt from the 1st phase of GMES and Africa with necessary recommendations for the 2nd phase are defined/underlined.
  • Experiences and uptake of EO innovation, technologies, and applications among different partners during implementation of the 1st phase of GMES and Africa are shared.
  • A network of potential partners in EO is mapped out, and all GMES & Africa communities of users (i.e., data and services providers, policymakers, representatives of various socio-economic sectors, academia, private companies, humanitarian organisations, general public, and communities) are linked with existing relevant EO initiatives.

Agenda features

  1. High-level segment of keynote speeches, press conference from policymakers from Africa and Europe; and face to face engagement with journalists
  2. Discussions along the four main pillars of GMES & Africa: a) Infrastructure and Data, b) EO Services, c) Human Capital Development, d) EO Communication and Engagement.
  3. Testimonials on the journey of GMES & Africa implementation told by the consortia.
  4. Demonstration of GMES & Africa building talent pipeline by offering scholarships on case studies.
  5. Synergies and Partnership sessions with the international community.
  6. Technical sessions with space agencies, technical institutions, private sector, academia, civil organisations, etc., on the utility of EO services for socio-economic development.

The organisers envisage a technical visit after the Forum sessions. 

The forum includes all-day exhibition booths showcasing EO services and products by GMES & Africa consortia of institutions and partners. In addition, the forum includes several other networking platforms. Furthermore, the forum’s structure is to accommodate diverse participants, whether technical, decision-makers, civil societies, and otherwise. The various sessions and segments will include brainstorming among participants and underpinned by seamless engagement and idea-sharing. The organisers will subsequently construct the record of deliberations into an integrated resource for EO research and policy in Africa.

Forum participants

GMES & Africa Forum is a platform for diverse participants to enhance and integrate EO services for socio-economic development. In addition, it is a congregation of policymakers, scientists, academicians, user communities, etc., to contribute to enriching the EO services. The African Union Commission (AUC) will sponsor some delegates, while consortia will support the participation of partners and associates. These include the students that have benefitted from the scholarships. Furthermore, AU Member States, Regional Economic Communities and the African Union Commission are among the participants. Likewise, the European Commission, regional and international institutions, Non-governmental organisations and the United Nations system are participants.

Scholarship

Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) will be sponsoring successful applicants to the forum. The scholarship is open to all students and young professionals whose country of residence is in Africa or are a citizen of an African country. In addition, participants must be SGAC members and between the age of 18 and 35 years as of the 26th of November 2021. Furthermore, applicants must have some past contributions to SGAC, as volunteers, or attending SGAC events. Scholarship judges are however not eligible.

For more information on the scholarship, and to apply for it, please follow this link.

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