The GMES and Africa programme management unit (PMU) led by Dr. Tidiane Ouattara the GMES & Africa Coordinator visited the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) team on a Midterm review meeting. The team arrived at RCMRD on February 27, 2020 and left on February 28, 2020. RCMRD Director General Dr. Emmanuel Nkurunziza welcomed the team from AUC led by Dr. Tidiane Quattara to RCMRD. He reiterated RCMRD’s commitment in ensuring that the project is completed successfully at the end of December 2020. Dr. Tidiane presented the key agenda of the workshop as revisiting and revising the Work plan and budget for the year 2020.
He emphasized that the closing date of the project is December 2020. He requested RCMRD to propose areas that need revision in the work plan and budget. He also pointed out that any underutilized budget will be go back to European Union through the AUC. Monies that were set aside for Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) will be distributed to other consortia based on efficient use of the budget. Other consortia that will not have utilized money by June will forfeit their funds to other consortia that are utilizing money fast enough. He also highlighted that RCMRD’s failure will be a failure for AUC as well. He declared AUC’s belief in RCMRD and pledged their support. The AUC team’s objective was to leave with the 2020 work plan and budget. AUC is already working on an agreement with EU on the second phase of GMES and Africa. There will be a call for proposals by the end of 2020. Discussions were solely dedicated to the 2020 work plan on the first day and on the second day the work plan was finalized and the budget was realigned.
RCMRD was requested to present the 2019 work plan that was to be updated to reflect the 2020 activities. The key areas include Infrastructure and Data, Communication and Service Development as well as the GMES and Africa website (http://gmes.rcmrd.org) and Mr. Ngugi Kimani demonstrated how to access data on the geoportal (http://gmesgeoportal.rcmrd.org). Ms. Dorah Nesoba provided a copy of the GMES and Africa newsletter to the visiting AUC team. For the year 2020, AUC targets to install 12 stations in all the consortia. Each RIC that is receiving a new station is expected to prepare ground and ease custom clearance process. Institutions are expected to use their own funds to create the base and transport the station from the port of entry. RCMRD will receive 2 E-stations. One will be based at RCMRD and another one will be supplied to Rwanda Water Resources Board (RWRB) formerly known as Rwanda Water and Forestry Authority (RWFA).
Mr. Degelo Sendabo the Team Leader (Project Manager) of the GMES and Africa project at RCMRD said RCMRD as a RIC has one consolidated service which is Land Degradation Monitoring and Assessment and two new services: Wetlands Monitoring and Assessment and Open Geographic Reference Vector Database. The main activities under these services include Designing the service, Developing Service Development Plan (SDP), Developing Products, Validating the Products, Operationalization and Receiving feedback from users. The key activities for RCMRD under the services for 2020 include: Product Development, Validation, Private Sector collaboration and User engagement. The timelines for all these activities were included in the work plan together with indicators, expected deliverable and an estimated budget. RCMRD will conduct several training at regional and national level. RCMRD reported that Makerere is expected to conduct some of the training. Additionally, RCMRD will conduct thematic training. 10% of the budget had been shared with Makerere. RCMRD’s financial team lead by Ms. Esther Muigai the Finance Officer was requested to present money that had been spent reconcile what is left by December 31, 2019 and projected costs in the year 2020 and share the information with the AUC Team.