Aug 2018

The African Union Commission has launched the establishment of the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security and Africa (GMES and Africa) Communications Working Group. The objective of the meeting is to harmonise the activities of the communications focal persons of the 13 consortia awarded the GMES and Africa grant.

The Global Monitoring for Environment and Security and Africa is a joint AU-EU initiative designed to build the indigenous capabilities and skills required for self-sufficiency and sustained progress in Africa by responding to African needs related to water, natural resources, marine and coastal areas.

It is also meant to enable the implementation of the African Space Policy and Strategy, formulated as an important pillar of Agenda 2063, to harness the continent’s capabilities in utilizing space science and technology for socio-economic growth and sustainable development.

This was declared during the two day inaugural meeting of the GMES and Africa Working Group, from 30 to 31 July 2018 at the premises of the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

In his opening remarks, Director of Human Resources, Science and Technology of the African Union Commission, Dr. Mahama Ouedrago called upon members of the working group to play their critical role to raise the awareness on the utilization of Earth Observation data and information in sustainable development and to provide tailor made information to policy makers, scientists, business and public.

"This meeting is timely, as the GMES and Africa Support Programme enters its active implementation phase to address regional priorities identified by the five regions of Africa," said Dr. Ouedrago.

The meeting was also attended by Prof. Bachir Saley, Senior Scientific Officer, GMES&Africa. During the two day workshop the GMES and Africa Communications and Engagement Strategy was discussed. Experiences of Communications experts and focal persons shared their experiences.

The meeting drafted a joint operational communication plan, agreed to join forces in promoting concrete results of the GMES and Africa Programme at national, regional and continental scale. Memebers also agreed on operational mechanisms and committed to combinig their efforts in promoting the upcoming 1st Forum of the GMES and Africa to be held in Gabon in November 2018.

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