GMES and AFRICA participates in the AfriCultuRes H2020 kick off meeting
Brice Montfraix
23 November 2017
AfriCultuRes (African Agricultural Systems with the Support of Remote Sensing) is the Horizon 2020 project that won a call on using Earth observation (EO) technology for improving food security in Africa.

The Project receives a four years' funding under grant agreement. It officially started on the 1st of November 2017 but hold its first meeting on 23-24/11 in Addis Ababa – The Hilton Hotel. 

AfriCultuReS will deliver a broad range of climatic, production, biophysical and economic information, for various regions in Africa by applying geospatial science to sustainable agricultural development, natural resource management, biodiversity conservation, and poverty alleviation. 

The Project intends to bring together a large variety of data from different sources such as the EU’s Copernicus programme, ground-based observations and models; hence the links with GMES and AFRICA and the fact that G&A Coordinator was conveyed to the kick-off and to make a speech.

Supported by the GEO Secretariat, it will involve all key players of AfriGEOSS, GEOGLAM, SIGMA, ARTEMIS, African Drought Observatory and other initiatives as well as partners representing the diversity of African agricultural systems, in an effort to push forward the services provided by current systems, with innovative fusion of data from multiple sources (EO, in-situ, citizen-based crowdsourcing, climate services and weather, crop models) in a vertical manner.

The project has 17 partners, seven of which are located in African countries (Tunisia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Ghana, Rwanda, Mozambique, South Africa), and receives about €8.5m of EU funding.

It is one of the cornerstones of the strategy of the European Commission to intensify the co-operation with African partners, contributing to the European Union-African Union partnership while promoting and supporting the activities of the Group on Earth Observation and its flagships, EuroGEOSS and AfriGEOSS.

More information

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GMES and Africa Support Programme is a 30 million Euro joint programme co-financed by the European Commission and the African Union Commission.

It will use and adapt the Copernicus Programme data and services to the African context. It is designed to specifically respond to African needs with respect to services related to water, natural resources, marine and coastal areas and to address the global needs to manage the environment, mitigate climate change and ensure civil security. It is to 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.

GMES and Africa introduces several key innovations: for the first time, with the inclusion of the North African countries, the Programme is pan African. It is managed entirely by the African Union Commission, through the Human Resource, Science and Technology (HRST) Department. It engages the African private sector and national and regional academia.

About Horizon 2020 (H2020)

Horizon 2020, worth nearly €80bn, shapes the future of scientific endeavour in the European Union, and beyond, for the remainder of the decade. Its widened remit, which includes the key pillars of Excellent Science, Industrial Leadership and Societal Challenges, means this framework programme will touch more lives and shape more sectors then any of its predecessors.