Group on Earth Observations supports Africa Space Policy and Strategy
Geneva, 1 February, 2016
The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) congratulates the African Heads of State on the adoption of the Africa Space Policy and Strategy, adopted during the 26th African Union (AU) Summit held 21 – 31 January, 2016 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. GEO’s coordination programme for Africa, AfriGEOSS, is working to mobilize the Earth Observation community to contribute to the implementation of the Space Policy and Strategy and help to formalize an African Outer Space Programme.
The African Space Policy and Space Strategy should help to strengthen the continent’s development and use of space applications including Earth observations. Knowledge derived from space science helps to inform plans and monitor the environment; manage the use of natural resources; provides early warning of and managing natural disasters; and support education and health services in rural areas.
In applauding the action by the African Heads of State, the Group on Earth Observations’ Secretariat Director Barbara Ryan stated, “GEO welcomes this important step for the African continent. The Policy and Strategy will most certainly advance the uptake and use of Earth observations for decision-making in Africa.”
GEO supports implementation of the African Space Policy and Strategy through its AfriGEOSS Initiative. AfriGEOSS builds synergies between GEO activities and African Earth observation programmes through a coordination mechanism to harmonize engagement, reduce duplication of effort, maximize African participation and connect to global initiatives. The release of the African Space Strategy will further strengthen African participation in GEO, which currently has 27 Members from the African continent.