The GMES and AFRICA Training has been designed to enhance regional and national capacities for African public institutions and private sector to generate and apply EO-based information for Natural and Water Resources as well as Marine & Coastal applications.
i) Ensure that RICs establish cooperation frameworks with Universities and work with the Pan-African University (PAU)
In order to ensure strategic human resourcing of its space programmes through the GMES & Africa project, the GMES & Africa Programme Management Unit (PMU), in collaboration with PAU, ensures the establishment of a cooperation framework with the network of universities and with existing specialized Regional Centers for Space Science and Technology Education affiliated to the UN (in Nigeria, Morocco etc.) in order to carry out training and capacity development activities. The PMU, in collaboration with PAU, coordinates a network of established Universities in different regions in order to ensure that the training is sustained and hence contributes to overall EO goals as outlined in the African Space Policy and Strategy. PMU, in collaboration with PAU, identifies needs of training and related equipment (computers and software) from the network of universities. PMU, in collaboration with PAU, coordinates with these universities the development of training, modules in their curricula and acquisition of equipment through procurement. PMU, in collaboration with PAU, develops a memorandum of understanding (including standard guidelines and deliverables) with the participating universities. AUC organizes 2 meetings with Universities and RICs. The impact will be to increase cooperation on training, cooperation in research and cooperation in education.
ii) Conduct capacity development on Earth Observation for integrated decision-making
AUC develops a strategy to transfer the MESA components (including training) to GMES & Africa. AUC, in collaboration with the TAT and RICs, identifies cross-cutting needs in the continent and undertakes the development and the implementation of the continental training strategy and plan. The cost for the continental trainings is covered by AUC. 5 regional stakeholders workshops and 10 training and capacity building workshops are foreseen and that at least 500 trainees are expected to benefit from.. The major activities are the preparation of course content, validation and delivery that will be done by contractor for training. In addition, the transfer of the training infrastructure from MESA to GMES & Africa will be ensured. Main activities include transfer of the Learning Management System, module development and validation.
The approach is to train trainers from RICs and other African institutions who will later carry out subsequent trainings. Subsequent training of the national networks and implementing partners is entrusted with the RICs (and covered under the grants). Specific regional and national related trainings are undertaken and paid for by the RICs themselves and this is specified in the guidelines for grants. AUC, in collaboration with the TAT, provides RICs with technical support to update existing training courses material and develop material for new courses. The expected impacts of this activity are to reduce the barriers of access to data and their use and to increase the cooperation between African existing platforms (AfriGEOSS, African Association for Remote Sensing for Environment, etc) and national geo-centers for sharing data and information. (for more information on this, see pp 60-62 of the Formulation Report),
n order to achieve this, AUC develops partnership also with international actors active in the area of EO training (especially in Marine, Coastal, Water and Natural Resources applications), in order to benefits from existing training materials and efforts, and create synergies with the G&A training activities.
iii) Establish virtual networking platforms
The training workload is made easier by leveraging virtual networking platforms to link technical and non-technical experts in order to share expertise without physical travel and to channel end-users feedback. AUC, with technical support from the TAT and the involvement of universities (through a service contract for expert support), sets up virtual networking platforms. AUC procures designing and developing of the system, purchase of hardware equipment; and maintenance. In addition, validation workshops with potential end- users and stakeholders will be organized.
The GMES & Africa PMU, in collaboration with MESA, develops the transition strategy with respect to transferring and adapting the virtual networking platform and the learning management system to GMES & Africa. This activity is done through AUC central procurement with technical support from the TAT. AUC covers the cost for the transfer of the online MESA platforms and the establishment of virtual networking platforms.
The Learning Management System (LMS) in MESA is offering services needed for capacity building and therefore remains vital for the system to be carried along in GMES & Africa. The purpose of this activity at this level is to retain the LMS services and further improve its services. AUC, through procurement, implements specific activities including installation of the system and hosting of the Digital Learning Environment, maintenance and upgrading; and internet connections. The cost of internet connections will be met by the RICs themselves from their Grants and this is specified in the Guidelines for the Call. The expected impacts of this activity include fostering more technical and technology exchanges among the GMES & Africa regional and national players from various geographical zones, from the EO data collection to their processing and dissemination. In addition, the training covers the new geographic areas that were not covered under MESA (mainly Northern Africa and South Africa). It is foreseen that more experts will be trained to support both the Water &Natural Resources and the Marine & Coastal Services.
iv) Facilitate continental and regional Policy and priorities alignment
AUC organizes two continental forums. It also organises the Policy Coordination and Advisory Committee (PCAC) meetings once per year. The outcomes of these meetings are shared with the GMES & Africa Coordination Team for consideration in the implementation. The expected impact of this activity is to ensure that the strategic priorities of the programme are addressed adequately, especially taking into consideration the evolving policy context resulting from high-level decision making instances such as the JAES policy (notably future Africa-EU summits) and coordination structures.