GMES and Africa Coordinator Addresses EO and Africa’s Development at Digital Earth Summit
GMES and AFRICA Comm. Team
07 May 2018

The potential for Earth Observation to contribute to Africa’s development was a key question addressed by panelists at the 7th Digital Earth Summit 2018, held from the 17th to the 19th of April 2018, at the Chouaib Douakkali University of Morocco.

The theme of the Summit was Digital Earth for Sustainable Development in Africa. GMES and Africa Coordinator and Space Science Expert at the African Union Commission, Dr. Tidiane Ouattara – who was the keynote speaker at the Summit, dwelt on how earth observation can contribute to the development of Africa through GMES and Africa.
Dr. Ouattara cited the vital benefits of GMES and Africa, which provides demand-driven services aligned to regional priorities identified by the Regional Economic Communities of Africa. The programme also contributes to the aspirations stipulated in the African Agenda 2063. GMES and Africa is the first Pan-African Earth Observation programme, designed to enhance Africa’s access to Earth Observation data, and to provide services that will enable African countries to manage their land-based and marine resources for sustainable socio-economic growth.
Flood, recurrent drought, deforestation, land degradation, coastal erosion, climate change and pirate fishing are among the challenges continually confronting Africa, and Earth Observation data is considered a potent tool for addressing some of these challenges. Through AU-EU partnership, Africa has been utilizing and benefiting from Earth Observation data for the past two decades.
Hosted in Africa for the first time, the Earth Summit was an inspiration, and an avenue for inquisition by the African and international EO communities, as well as for geo-spatial information scientists. It was organized by the International Society for Digital Earth (ISDE), in partnership with the African Association of Remote Sensing of the Environment (AARSE), and the Moroccan Association of Remote Sensing of the Environment (MARSE).