Global Monitoring of Environment and Security (GMES) and Africa is a cooperation initiative between Africa and Europe launched in Lisbon, Portugal, since 2007 during the 2nd EU-Africa Summit. The initiative avails an opportunity for Africa to utilize European’s Copernicus program infrastructure and facilities. An Identification study resulted in a project formulation report that recommended implementation of the three of nine themes under two services, namely: Water & Natural Resources; and Marine & Coastal Areas. The 1st meeting of Eastern Africa including Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) region was held today in Kigali.
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. As the Guidelines for the call are now ready, participants of the last meeting of December 2016 in Abuja, decided that they would assist in co-organizing information sessions in their regions. This aims at exposing the potential institutions to the critical information on the Guidelines, to ensure that the most capable institutions are adequately aware of procedures for application.
Apart from this meeting today February 18th to 19th, similar ones are planned in 4 remaining regions as per the schedule below: Western Africa region in Dakar, Northern Africa region-Cairo, Central Africa region-Libreville and Southern Africa region-Harare.
Expected results are the following: prospective institutions will be fully aware of different steps and criteria stipulated in the guidelines, so as to avoid mistakes and omissions that may lead to rejection of their proposals.
This also 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.
Moreover, 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.
And finally, this exercise is expected to stimulate possibilities of institutions coming together and forming strong consortia hence being able to develop concrete proposals.
On behalf of Rwanda, Dr Gaspard Rwanyiziri from University of Rwanda (CGIS) clarifies importance of the grant. “This will help us to prevent disasters, protect environment and plan our cities by providing technological information to decision makers”, he says. The grant would also help to fight pollution that affect climate change and cause casual famine in Rwanda.
The grant is open for public and private institutions, working in domain of environment research, and applied technology.
Jean Baptiste Karegeya