Countdown to the 1st GMES & Africa forum in Gabon

The African Union Commission is Organizing the 1st forum of the GMES and Africa Programme, under the theme “Unlocking the Potential for Earth Observation as a key drivier of Africa’s sustainable development”. It will be held from 19 to 23 November 2018, in Libreville, Gabon.

The first forum of the GMES & Africa Support Programme is one of the communication platforms that encourages and promotes the exchange of views among Earth Observation
service providers and end-users at the grassroots level in Africa. The first forum will be co-organised by the African Union Commission and the Government of Gabon through the Agence Gabonaise d’Études et d’Observation Spatiale (AGEOS). It is scheduled to be
held from 19th to 23rd November 2018 in Libreville, Gabon. The theme of the first GMES and Africa Forum is “Unlocking the potential of Earth Observation as a key driver of Africa’s sustainable development”. Satellites from space are collecting huge amounts of high resolution images in real and/or near real time basis with great potential to be utilized for different applications meeting day to day operations of people in various sectors.
Hence, the forum addresses how to unlock the potential of Earth Observation data and support the socio-economic transformation for the achievement of the Africa We Want, as articulated in the Agenda 2063. It also discusses what the GMES and Africa support Programme delivers to the user communities in Africa. About 250 representatives of Earth Observation service and data providers, grassroots level users, decision makers, academia, the private sector, research institutions from Africa and all over the world are expected to attend the five-day event.

The primary objective of the forum is to :

  1. Strengthen communication and exchange between EO technical experts and various end users in an attempt to increase technology user uptake;
  2. Present the status of the GMES and Africa and its implementation at continental, regional and national levels;
  3. Deliberate on the role of academia in mainstreaming Earth Observation applications in the university curriculum;
  4. Demonstrate new and innovative EO technologies to different end users for visibility enhancement;

Provide an avenue for different partners, especially from academia and the private sector
involved in the GMES and Africa Support programme to contribute towards the utilization of Earth observation for Africa’s socio-economic development; and
Build on success stories in EO, map out the potential partnerships, engage stakeholders for assuring strong and sustainable ownership, and linking with existing relevant initiatives.
Conclusions of the forum, action items and key recommendations will be endorsed at the end of the forum by the participants. The full report and proceedings of the forum will be produced and disseminated online to participants.

Expected Results

  1. Enhanced awareness and visibility regarding the GMES and Africa support Programme;
  2. Feedback on the implementation of GMES & Africa’s capacity development strategy including the roles of academia and research centres in mainstreaming the use of Earth
  3. Observation in university curriculum and service development;
  4. Greater awareness on the benefits of Earth Observation through the GMES and Africa Programme among large community of users (i.e. data and services providers, policymakers, representatives of various socio-economic sectors, academia, private companies, humanitarian organizations, general public, and communities);
  5. The strengthening of communication channels between the GMES and Africa Support Programme and various actors;
  6. Refined user needs in terms of access to EO data and services on land, marine, and natural resource management applications.