The African Union Commission signed Cooperation arrangement in the area of data access

The African Union Commission signed a cooperation arrangement with the European Commission in the area of Earth Observation data access from the Sentinel Satellites of the Copernicus on 12 June 2018, in Brussels, Belgium at the premises of the European Commission Directorate- General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG-GROWTH).

Dr. Mahama Ouedraogo, Director of the Human Resources, Science and Technology signed on behalf of the African Union Commission and Mr. Philippe Brunet, Director of Directorate I, Space Policy, Copernicus and Defence, on behalf of the European Commission.

Signing ceremony of cooperation arrangement between the AUC and EC
The cooperation arrangement will enable African Earth Observation data users to access to Sentinel Satellites data using high bandwidth terrestrial network connections from data hub to data hub so as to foster the exchange of Earth Observation data between Europe and Africa. This will help users to monitor their environment, crops, water bodies and coastal ecosystems among others.

The European Commission and the African Union Commission are pursuing Earth observation activities in a number of areas of common interest and cooperate in the framework of the GMES and Africa partnership. They consider that sharing satellite data and information, including from African Earth observation satellites, will provide mutual benefits once interoperability and integrity are ascertained.

Both sides recognise the leading role of the African Union Commission in serving as the official central contact point to facilitate Sentinel data access and use in Africa. The African Union Commission coordinates efforts to support African users' access to and use of Earth observation data and information.

The GMES and Africa Support Programme is a 30 million Euro joint programme co-financed by the European Commission and the African Union Commission. The Programme uses and adapts the Copernicus Programme data and services to the African context.