GMES and Africa visits ESA-ESRIN
04 July 2017
Following the invitation of ESA/ESRIN, the GMES and Africa team -composed of the Project Management Unit (PMU) and the Technical Assistance Team (TAT) - performed a visit to ESRIN headquarters in Frascati, Italy on the 3rd and 4th of July, 2017. 

The coordination meeting in ESRIN aimed at (1) presenting ESA and its EO activities in Africa to GMES & Africa team, (2) presenting the project GMES & Africa team to ESA’s Experts and (3) Discussing about perspectives of cooperation between ESA and AUC.

The discussions were constructive and fruitful and both parts agreed to collaborate together not only in the setting of GMES & Africa program but also in the setting of the space program of the AUC.

ESRIN’s EO activities in Africa 

Activities related to the following thematic areas have been presented:

Copernicus Sentinels and EO data access 

ESRIN’s experts presented information about:
  • The sentinel satellites and their characteristics and core data products;
  • Possibilities for EO data access;
  • Thematic Exploitation platforms (TEP)
GMES & Africa presentation: 
  • The presentation aimed at providing ESRIN’s experts with and overview on origins and background of the GMES & Africa Programme, its pillars and Modus Operandi, the thematic areas that are covered and the planned action plan.

Main Outcomes of the meeting

  • ESA activities are not restricted to building and launching satellites, but they also evolve IT possibilities such as easy data access, crowd sourcing/mapping, cloud computing and exploitation platforms;
  • ESRIN is the center of EO R&D and education, providing innovative EO solutions as well as training courses, summer schools and international education activities;
  • ESA’s Earth Observation Envelope Programme (EOEP-5) for the years 2017-2021 is highly relevant for Africa because it implements solutions to science and societal issues and challenges such as climate, water, food, SDGs…
  • Through the discussions, it turns out that ESA and AUC have a common interest in exploiting EO capabilities/Copernicus in Africa. Such common interest not only relates to the implementation of two services that are, currently, under consideration in GMES and Africa (i.e. Water and Natural Resources and Marine and Coastal areas), but also in planning wider areas of collaboration in the setting of AUC’s space program.

Additional Material

  • List of attendance;
  • Presentations.


The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europe's gateway to space. Its mission is to shape the development of Europe's space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.
ESRIN is the ESA's Centre for Earth Observation. Situated in Frascati, south of Rome, Italy, it manages the ground segment for ESA and third-party Earth-observation satellites, coordinating over 20 ground stations and ground-segment facilities throughout Europe and cooperating with another 20 foreign ground-segment operators worldwide.