GMES And Africa

The Global Monitoring for Environment and Security, and Africa (GMES & Africa) initiative is the crystallization of the longstanding cooperation between Africa and Europe in the area of space science & technology, which is one of the key priorities of the long-term EU-Africa Joint Strategy.


GMES & Africa’s first phase consists of two main Services, and each is structured into Components, Themes and finally Applications. This design takes into account the needs expressed in the 2013 South Africa GMES & Africa Validation Workshop, the predecessor projects, particularly those gathered from MESA (to facilitate the continuation and expansion of current services), and the Copernicus Programme and structure.

Natural and Water Resources Service

This Service has 2 Components that address the combination of two thematic areas, namely, (a) Long-Term Management of Natural Resources, and (b) Water Resources Management.

Marine and Coastal Service

The Service is entirely devoted to the Marine & Coastal thematic priority. It has 4 components: Monitoring and Forecasting of Oceanography Variables, Coastal Area Monitoring, Ship Traffic and Pollution Monitoring, and Marine Weather Forecast.

Geographical Coverage of the Programme

GMES & Africa covers the entire African continent, unlike its predecessors such as MESA, which focused on Sub-Saharan Africa, excluding the Northern Africa region. This arrangement will facilitate the ‘continentalization’ of GMES & Africa Services, thereby enabling the equal distribution of resources and strengthening of EO capacity and collaboration across the entire continent.


Promoting the development in Africa of local capacities, institutional, human and technical resources for access to and exploitation of EO-based services on operational basis for sustainable development;

Supporting the implementation of the African Space Policy and Strategy, in particular on Earth Observation

Providing decision-makers with information and tools needed for the implementation of sustainable environmental policies at the continental, regional and national levels through their Regional Economic Communities and Implementation Centers (RICs)

Maintaining, improving and sustaining access to EO data

Outputs and Activities

Ensuring that access to EO data is maintained, improved and sustained;

Strengthening data access and sharing practices and policies in promoting intra-African collaborative actions

Ascertaining that the Natural and Water Resources Service adequately informs policy makers and end users

Ensuring that regional and national capacities for African public institutions and private sector are enhanced to generate and apply EO-based information for Natural and Water Resources as well as Marine & Coastal applications

Ensuring that adequate awareness and outreach activities are undertaken to better engage policy makers, administrators, entrepreneurs, scientists and civil society at all levels in using EO and geospatial data and information


The implementation strategy, called the Action, is one of the three contracts concluded by EC to facilitate delivery of the 2 Services. Of the total funding for the Action, 17 Million Euro will be purposely reserved for grants through a Call for Proposals to finance the operations of the Regional Implementation Centers (RICs) in the execution of the activities outlined under the Action. An earlier exercise of a Call for Concept Notes to get an idea of the configuration of consortia that will be competitively applying for the Grants revealed that all the applications under the 2 Services were selected by at least one consortium; except for one: “Surveillance, Monitoring and Assessment of Environmental Impacts of Mining activities.” The AUC will use its grants procedures to achieve the objectives of the programme, ensuring that funds are spent in a transparent, efficient and fair manner. Thus, the bulk of the implementation work will be done by consortia of regional institutions led by the RICs that will apply for the grants. Each of the five regions of the continent will have at least one RIC to coordinate technical execution of the Action.

On the other hand, the capacity development component will be implemented through a procurement process to be overseen by the AUC. Training and capacity development will be carried out through the Pan African University.