GMES & Africa Consultation Forum with RECs and RICs
Brice Montfraix
20 December 2016
The Department of Human Resources, Science and Technology organised a consultative forum with Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and Regional Implementation Centers (RICs), from the 19 – 20 December 2016, in Abuja Nigeria.

The forum aimed to engage the RECs and RICs in an open and inclusive consultation, drive local ownership and reinforce regional networking and the mobilization of regional competencies towards the implementation of GMES and Africa.

Unlike previous projects, GMES & Africa will be implemented through an open Call for Proposal, using AUC procurement procedures, to institutions that will act as regional outlets on the identified applications.

Rationale of the information sessions

During the meeting, the RECs indicated the need for information sessions to sensitize potential applicants for the GMES & Africa Grants, to be co-organized with the AUC in the various regions. This is to expose the potential institutions to the critical information on the Guidelines to ensure that the most capable institutions are adequately aware of procedures for application.

RECs play a critical role in ensuring coordination and strategic guidance of the initiative at the regional level. Their suggestion to co-organize information sessions for the potential institutions was timely and helpful. To this end, AUC has organized the continent-wide information sessions as follows:
  1. Eastern Africa including Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) region-Kigali, Rwanda
  2. Western Africa region-Dakar, Senegal
  3. Northern Africa region-Cairo, Egypt
  4. Southern Africa region-Harare, Zimbabwe
  5. Central Africa region-Libreville, Gabon

Expected results

  • It is expected that prospective institutions will be fully aware of different steps and criteria stipulated in the guidelines so as to avoid costly mistakes and omissions that may lead to rejection of their proposals. 
  • This eases the evaluation and assessment processes, thus saving the time required to go through the proposals and thereby making the Granting period shorter and attainable. 
  • The information sessions are meant to bring together prospective institutions with sound experience in the area of Earth Observation and its applications to different thematic areas in each region. 
  • This exercise is expected to stimulate possibilities of institutions coming together and forming strong consortia hence being able to develop concrete proposals. 
  • This aspect paves way for effective implementation of GMES & Africa in the continent.