EU africa

Joint EU-Africa initiatives


The GMES and Africa Initiative: Cooperation on Earth Observation between Europe and Africa.

EU africa
EU africa

EUMETSAT is actively involved in two major projects which aim to strengthen cooperation on Earth observation between Europe and Africa and improve access to climate data in Africa.

Last Updated

07 June 2021

Published on

17 April 2020

To maximise the benefits of its involvement in Africa, EUMETSAT is linking its activities to existing initiatives related to weather, climate and environment monitoring. In the framework of the Joint EU-Africa Strategy, EUMETSAT is involved in the MESA and GMES and Africa initiatives, which aim to strengthen cooperation on Earth observation between Europe and Africa, and the GFCS ACP initiative, which focuses on improving access to climate data in Africa and helping to make it available for decision-makers to use.

The GMES and Africa Initiative: Cooperation on Earth Observation between Europe & Africa

The Global Monitoring for Environment and Security in Africa (GMES and Africa) initiative was launched by the Maputo Declaration, signed on 15 October 2006. The aim of this initiative is to strengthen and further develop infrastructure for exploitation of Earth observation data (space and in-situ), technologies and services in support of environmental policies for sustainable development in Africa.

GMES and Africa’s objectives are to:


  • Develop the necessary capacity (institutional, human and technical) in Africa to adapt and exploit, on an operational basis, the technology, data, products and services developed in the framework of GMES Europe and which are relevant to African needs;

  • Develop techniques, products and services to better serve African interests and requirements in terms of environmental monitoring, by adapting them, when necessary, to the institutional African context.

  • Funds have been mobilised as part of the EC Pan-African programme for an initial GMES and Africa Support Programme, which will facilitate the development and operation of two first services.  More information can be found here

The global framework for climate services in ACP countries

The international community established the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) to promote operational climate services at national and regional levels. This intergovernmental partnership is supported by the United Nations and other international organisations with diverse, cross-cutting mandates. The framework’s contribution to climate change adaptation and resilience has been recognised by the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

While the use of climate information and forecasts is growing rapidly, some 70 developing countries still lack the resources and expertise they need for their citizens to benefit from climate services. The GFCS assists those countries to develop and use climate services. It also promotes international collaboration, the pooling of resources and expertise, and the sharing of best practices. The GFCS is guided by the development and application of science-based climate information and services in support of decision-making and has four initial thematic priority sectors: agriculture and food security, water, health and disaster risk reduction. The main aspects of the GFCS are presented in the implementation plan.

For more information, please visit the GFCS website.

The African Union Commission, the Regional Economic Communities and the African-Caribbean-Pacific Secretariat decided on 30 September 2012 to promote the implementation of GFCS in Africa, through the "Addis Ababa Declaration”.

This declaration was referred to in the Integrated African Strategy for Meteorology (Weather and Climate Services) approved at the second AMCOMET session and endorsed by the AU Summit in January 2013. The declaration was also presented at the WMO Extraordinary Congress which endorsed the GFCS governance (IBCS) and implementation plan, in October 2012 in Geneva.

As of 2012, an ad-hoc task team composed of representatives of the declaration stakeholders (AUC, RECs and ACP Secretariat) was formed and chaired by AUC/REA and ACP Secretariat, with the mandate to design a “GFCS ACP” project. In view of the interest expressed by the Caribbean and Pacific region for this initiative, the task team was extended to include representatives of those regions. EUMETSAT and the WMO jointly fulfil the role of Secretariat of the task team.

In September 2014, the task team presented the result of its work and initial approach for the implementation of GFCS in Africa at regional level. This lead to the Benoni Statement, which requested support from the European Development Fund for this GFCS ACP initiative.

The third AMCOMET session held in February 2015 in Praia confirmed the high level of interest in the GFCS in Africa and supported the Benoni Statement.

In 2016, the intra-ACP Cooperation Strategy included an explicit priority action to support the development of climate services in the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific regions, and related applications, while strengthening the capacities of the Regional Climate Centres. A budget of EUR 85 million was earmarked for this priority.