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africa|building|generation|infrastructure|innovation|projects|services|system|technology|environmental|infrastructure

AU signs new agreement on Earth observation cooperation with a European organisation

24th May 2024

By: Rebecca Campbell

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

     

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The African Union Commission (AUC) and the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (much better known by its acronym, EUMETSAT) have signed an agreement to reinforce their cooperation in the sphere of Earth observation (EO). This follows the start of the deployment of the third generation of EUMETSAT’s Meteosat weather- and climate-focused EO satellites. This third generation is known as the MTG satellite system.

“The memorandum of understanding represents another milestone in Africa-Europe cooperation,” highlighted AUC Education, Science, Technology and Innovation Commissioner Professor Mohamed Belhocine. “It is a renewed opportunity for Africa to explore EUMETSAT’s next-generation infrastructure and tools for data harvesting and utilisation. The agreement is timely and complements the Agenda 2063 and the African Space Policy and Strategy in deploying satellite data to address environmental and climate challenges. Such a mutual partnership is crucial for Africa’s drive to leverage its socioeconomic transformation using space science and technology.”

The MTG satellites, the first of which (MTG-Imager 1) was launched in December 2022, will have a constant view of both Europe and Africa. Data from MTG-Imager 1 will soon be released for operational use. (The MTG system will have two imager satellites and one sounding satellite.)

“EUMETSAT is a key partner of the African Union in projects aiming to strengthen Africa’s meteorological, environmental and climate services,” affirmed EUMETSAT director-general Phil Evans. “We have provided African nations with data and capacity-building support for more than two decades, within the framework of the European Union-Africa partnership. This agreement will facilitate access to more of the precise, high-resolution data those data users in Africa need to help protect lives, infrastructure and livelihoods. The agreement recognises and supports Africa’s space, meteorological and climate strategies.”

EUMETSAT, headquartered in Darmstadt in Germany, is a partner, not an agency, of the European Union, and has 30 member States. They are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Türkiye, and the UK.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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