GMES and Africa to Host the Inaugural Forum of Phase Two

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The Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) and Africa is organising the first Forum of its second phase of operations. The event will begin on November 27, 2023, in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, and will run for four days, concluding on November 30, 2023. The forum will centre on utilising Earth Observation for Resilience and Innovation in Africa to advance socioeconomic development on the continent.  

Moreover, the forum will be an inclusive platform, bringing together stakeholders from various sectors to engage in meaningful discussions regarding utilising EO services and applications. These conversations will emphasise how EO can be harnessed to promote effective environmental and long-term natural resource management, all to foster human development. This event represents a crucial juncture for the exchange of knowledge, strategies, and insights, uniting diverse voices in the pursuit of a more resilient and innovative Africa.

Several dignitaries are expected to attend the event, including H.E. Christian Berger, Ambassador of the European Union Delegation to Egypt, H. E. Prof. Mohammed Belhocine, Commissioner Education, Science, Technology and Innovation – African Union Commission, and H.E. Prof. Mohamed Ayman Ashour, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research of The Arab Republic of Egypt. To set the scene for the programme, Dr Mahama Ouedraogo, former Education, Science, Technology and Innovation (ESTI) Director, will highlight the journey and milestones achieved by GMES and Africa in the last 17 years, and Dr Tidiane Ouattara, the GMES & Africa Programme Coordinator will present on the objectives of the forum and expectations. 

The forum will feature 17 Question and Answer sessions, seven keynote speeches, and panel discussions centred on stakeholders’ engagement and knowledge management for EO, access to EO data for sustainable development, and the role of EO in decision-making. In addition, the forum will also include five presentations by eight consortia, which include the Center for Space Science and Technology Education (CSE), IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC), Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD), Observatoire du Sahara et du Sahel (the Sahel and Sahara Observatory), Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management (SASSCAL), Commission Internationale du Bassin Congo-Oubangui-Sangha(CICOS), Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) University of Ghana (UoG). Their presentations will highlight the institutions’ achievements and best practices in amplifying the objectives of GMES and Africa Phase One.

Following the conclusion of this four-day event, it is anticipated that participants will be empowered to leverage the suggested recommendations to enhance and refine their current methodologies. The insights, knowledge, and best practices shared throughout the event are poised to catalyse positive change and drive continuous improvement in leveraging EO solutions and services across multiple sectors.

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