The Global Monitoring for Environment and Security and Africa (GMES & Africa) Support Programme is a joint programme co-financed by the European Commission and the African Union Commission. The Programme intends to adapt and use the Copernicus Programme data and services in the African context.
GMES and Africa is designed to specifically respond to African needs with respect to the development of services for water, natural resources, marine and coastal areas, address the global needs to manage the environment, and ensure civil security.
GMES and Africa will enable the implementation of the African Space Policy and Strategy, formulated to harness the continent’s capabilities in utilizing space science and technology for economic growth and sustainable development. In the implementation agreement, the African Union Commission is the ‘delegated authority’ responsible for the management of the programme.
GMES and Africa Support Programme aims to improve African policy-makers’, planners’, scientists’, business and private sector and citizens’ capacities to design, implement, and monitor national, regional and continental policies and to promote sustainable management of natural resources through the use of Earth Observation data and derived information.
Unlike prior Earth Observation Programmes in Africa, GMES and Africa introduces five key innovations:
- the inclusion of the North African countries;
- the programme is managed entirely by the African Union Commission;
- the engagement of African private sector;
- the engagement of African academia; and
- the use of Copernicus Sentinel data.
While managed overall by the African Union Commission, the Programme is implemented regionaly and nationaly by Consortia of institutions that are active in the Central, Eastern, Northern, Southern and Western regions of the African continent, and the Western Indian Ocean (Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles).