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GMES Africa initiative stimulating use of satellite data on the continent

24th November 2023

By: Rebecca Campbell

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

     

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Intergovernmental organisation Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) Africa attended the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Week and Ministerial Summit 2023 (held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre this month) as an observer agency. “We’ve been asked to synergise with other Earth observation initiatives, and GEO is one of them, and a very big one, in fact,” explains GMES Africa national resources management and monitoring policy expert Brice Montfraix, in an exclusive interview with Engineering News & Mining Weekly.

GMES Africa is a joint initiative between the European Commission (of the European Union, or EU) and the African Union Commission, and is based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The agreement creating it was signed in 2009, and GMES Africa actually started operations in 2016. It is currently focused on providing the African Union (AU), African governments and other end-users with usable, value-added satellite data in two broad areas, namely lands and waters, and coastal and marine. The data supplied, however, has proved valuable in just about every area of AU and member governmental operations, ranging from health to mining to safety and security.

“The data the satellites produce is only the first layer,” he elucidates. “It has to be processed to provide useful data to customers,” says Montfraix.

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Edited by Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

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