On the 15th of February 2022, Copernicus-GMES & Africa Partnership held a virtual roundtable discussion titled “Space for Sustainable Development”. The objective of this event was to unveil the past to present progress and future opportunities of partnership between Africa and EU on Earth Observation (EO) development with an orientation towards enhancing policy dialogue, business, gender and young entrepreneurship.
Constituting the panel of experts in the roundtable was SASSCAL’s Executive Director, Dr. Jane Olwoch, and 13 experts from various international organisations including the European Union, African Union and Space institutions.
The panel of experts provided a concise overview of the Euro-Africa Partnership on Space Science and development which includes the Copernicus and GMES & Africa Partnership. They further discussed insights on opportunities Earth Observation can provide for the region. Informative Data and facts was displayed to reveal how space data can drive robust green environment oriented sustainable development in Africa coupled with adoption of digitally innovative technologies.
For the past 20 years the collaboration between Africa and the European Union on space matters has been very successful particularly on Earth Observation. The GMES & Africa initiative was established in 2007 as a firm commitment to cooperative action between Europe and Africa towards the development and implementation of Earth Observation (EO) applications tailored to African requirements.
A specific roadmap was developed which applied the programmatic approach of the EU’s Copernicus programme (known as GMES at the time) to the African continent. The GMES & Africa initiative takes place in the wider context of the Africa-EU partnership, aimed at the sustainable development of the African regions and scientific cooperation between Europe and Africa.