Brussels, 15 September 2010
Further progress in EU–Africa cooperation in Space
European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani discussed today with Commissioner Jean Pierre Ezin of the African Union Commission how space applications can play a significant role in helping to combat many of the core challenges faced by the African continent. In this respect earth observation plays a crucial part which is being developed jointly under the “GMES1 and Africa initiative”. This action plan is part of the EU-Africa strategic partnership and aims to ensure that earth observation data are available to respond to African user needs in areas such as climate change, water resource management and food security. In a joint statement, Vice-President Tajani and Commissioner Ezin expressed satisfaction with the on-going cooperation between the EU and Africa to ensure the most efficient use of space applications which respond to African user needs (see Memo/10/414 ). Vice President Tajani welcomed that the EU-Africa summit at end November 2010 will be in a position to adopt the GMES Action Plan to take these initiatives forward.
Vice-President Tajani, in charge of Industry and Entrepreneurship, said "The EU and Africa are working towards the deployment of a pan-African satellite navigation services infrastructure. This would create significant benefits for Africa including reduced levels of aviation fatalities, but also important improvements in land management, mining and rail safety".
Today's meeting brought together leading figures in the European and African space sectors. In particular they discussed two key African initiatives which will promote space sciences in Africa and help ensure a coordinated approach to African space activities; namely the Space Science Institute of the pan-African University and a future African Space Agency. Noting the link between scientific research and economic development, Vice President Tajani offered the on-going support of the European Commission in helping to bring these projects to reality.
Today’s high-level political meeting on space is a follow up to the College to College meeting of the European Commission and the African Union Commission of 8 June 2010 (see IP/10/692).
More information :
GMES and Africa initiative
GMES – Global Monitoring for Environment and security
Global Monitoring for Environment and Security