GMES & Africa is a 30 Million Euro programme co-funded by the European Commission through the funded Pan African Envelope (29.5 Million Euro) and the African Union Commission (0.5 Million Euro). It is an Earth Observation system designed to respond to global needs to manage the environment, understand and mitigate the effects of climate change and ensure civil security. The programme, officially launched in November, 2016 in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, is also a priority under the African Space Policy and Strategy, adopted by the African Union Heads of State and Government. It is user-centric and provides services for the environment and security, as well as information for policymakers, scientists, businesses and the public.
Under the Agreement, AUC is the delegated authority for the implementation of GMES & Africa, which contributes to addressing increasing challenges Africa is facing in climate change, drought, desertification and other environmental hazards. It is also a means of harnessing and leveraging the continent’s potential in utilizing Earth observation data for breakthroughs in civil security, health, agriculture among other sustainable development trajectories.
In order to rollout the implementation of the GMES & Africa initiative, three thematic areas were agreed upon and prioritized through consultations with African stakeholders: Long-Term Management of Natural Resources; Marine and Coastal Areas; and Water Resources Management. Grants will be issued in two lots according to the Water & Natural Resources service, and the Marine and Coastal Resources service. The two services will cover 23 applications and each application could cover the following actions either singularly or in conjunction with others: consolidation of applications already operational in the region; extension of operational applications to other regions; and development of new applications up to the operational stage of the product development cycle: definition, specification, development and operation.
The Call is an opportunity for African institutions to apply for the GMES & Africa Grants, which will be implemented using the African Union’s procurement and grant management procedures. The launch of the GMES & Africa Call was preceded by continent-wide consultations and information sessions with Regional Economic Communities and potential applicants for the Grant, to sensitize them about the Grant and strengthen their capacities in meeting the requirements stipulated in the Guidelines on responding to the Call for Proposals.