The African private sector involved in remote sensing (RS) and geospatial technologies to address scientific, practical and policy aspects has immensely grown over the past 20 years. However, there is no comprehensive information to fully understand how companies operate and what challenges they face. It is therefore difficult to harness their expertise and to assess state and health of the sector.
Yet, in the context of the Europe (EU)-Africa cooperation in Space, the 4th Africa-EU Summit has approved the implementation of GMES & Africa in 2014. At the 6th EU-Africa Space Troika meeting the GMES & Africa Road Map was adopted and it was agreed to convene stakeholders for launching the implementation process in several crucial thematic areas under the Pan African Programme. In particular, the final communiqué calls upon the application of approaches developed in the European EO Programme, Copernicus (space infrastructure and information services), for the implementation of GMES & Africa, notably by adopting a free and open data policy, by focusing on operational services and by involving the private sector in the services development.
If Africa is to truly benefit from the EU-Africa cooperation on GMES & Africa and other programmes, AARSE believes that it is essential that the African private sector operating in the EO and geospatial fields is part of the programme right from the beginning. The recent tender issued by the AU for GMES & Africa Call for Concept Note, for example, explicitly invites the private sector in Africa to participate in bidding consortia (more in: https://www.devex.com/projects/tenders/gmes-africa-guidelines-for-call-for-concept-note/190552).
AARSE http://africanremotesensing.org/, in cooperation with the European Association of Remote Sensing Companies, EARSC http://earsc.org/, a non-profit organization representing the European Earth Observation (EO) Services Industry, are embarking on an inventory of the African private EO and Geospatial industry. Our survey targets all companies registered in Africa which are engaged in business related to the supply of geospatial products and services concerning or using EO data. These may be satellite operators, EO service providers or internal service departments inside companies engaged in different business e.g., oil & gas, land use, environmental assessment, etc.
The amount of data used is not important. It is sufficient that some satellite data are used- even in a derived/ processed form somewhere in the business. Our questionnaire will direct a limited number of questions to African companies to develop an understanding of the sector, gain insight into business focus and market, and explore interests of companies in developing the sector and on regional/ international cooperation.
We would like to capture as many African companies as possible and look forward to the kind participation of your company in our survey. So far we have enlisted several companies registered in Africa and we are certain there are many more not known to us. We leave no stone unturned however, until those whom we are not aware off, come forward to participate in this continental effort.
We have already sent invitations to more than 150 companies registered in Africa to participate in our survey. We call upon all African private EO and Geospatial companies not contacted so far, to immediately send us the name of their organization, contact person and email if interested to participate.
Tsehaie Woldai: (Tsehaie.email@example.com) Elisabeth Zeil-Fahlbusch: (firstname.lastname@example.org)