Europe-Africa Space Earth Observation
High-Level Forum
Portuguese Presidency of the Council
of the European Union
Read the Lisbon Manifest Lisbon / Online, 10 and 11 June 2021
Watch live here
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Space Earth Observation
High-Level Forum

About The Forum

The Europe-Africa Space Earth Observation High-Level Forum is a hybrid event that will take place in Lisbon, on 10-11 June 2021, organised in the framework of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education of Portugal, with the support of the European Commission.

The Forum, the theme of which is space as an enabler for digital and green transitions, with earth observation fostering sustainable development, new skills and job creation, has as its aim to foster European-African cooperation on advanced earth observation (EO) and data processing systems and their applications in a user-driven approach.

14 years after the 2nd EU-Africa Summit (held in Lisbon in December 2007) and the launching of the GMES & Africa process, substantial progress has been achieved in the use of EO data and in the development of applications and services. In light of the opportunities offered by new technologies and by the new political context, the renewal and fostering of European and African cooperation in this domain is of paramount importance to pursue the Sustainable Development Goals and the green transition.


Lisbon and Online


10 and 11 June 2021

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  • June 10, 2021

  • Setup of scope and aims for the Stakeholder meeting – preparation of the declaration and understanding priorities for African and European stakeholders. Welcome addresses of the main organizers from the African and European side.

    • Hugo Costa, Director, Portuguese Space Agency
    • Tidiane Ouattara, Space Expert and GMES & Africa Coordinator, AUC

  • Session with African and European scientists outlining key thematic challenges on which EO can play a substantial role in addressing gaps and opportunities through applied research and targeted downstream services, in support to the objectives of the African Agenda 2063.

    Moderator: Mark Dowell, Project Leader - Scientific and Technical Support to Copernicus, DG JRC
    Rapporteur: Miguel Bello, CEO, AIR Centre

    09h15 – 09h40 Marine (10’ presentation + 15’ Q&As)
    • Hayley Evers-King, Marine Application Expert, EUMETSAT
    • Eric Martial, GMES & Africa project manager, Mauritius Oceanography Institute

    09h40 - 10h15 Land (15’ presentation + 20’ Q&As)
    1. Agriculture and Food Security 2. In-land waters 3. Soils 4. Forests 5. Biodiversity
    • Alan Belward, Deputy Director, DG JRC
    • Catherine Nakalembe, Assistant Research Professor, University of Maryland – GEOGLAM

    10h15 - 10h45 Climate, Disasters and Atmosphere (20' presentation + 10’ Q&As)
    Climate and Disasters (10’)
    • Alessandra Zampieri, Head of Unit – Disasters Management, DG JRC
    • Ganiy Agbaje, Executive Director, Centre for Space Science & Technology Education (CSSTE)

    Atmosphere (10’)
    • Pascal Moudi, Centre d'Application et de Prévision Climatologique de l'Afrique Centrale (CAPC-AC)
    • Federico Fierli, Atmospheric composition expert, EUMETSAT

  • Example of applications by public and private institutions in various domains, with a focus on those supporting SDGs or example of successful services to or by private sector.

    Moderator: Jolly Wasambo, Coordinator ClimSa – GFCS, AUC
    Rapporteur: Michel Massart, Administrator Earth Observation Unit, DG DEFIS

    GMES & Africa: the Europe-Africa Flagship initiative (10’)
    Focus on overall objective and policy aspects and link to African Strategy
    • Tidiane Ouattara, Space Expert and GMES & Africa Coordinator, AUC
    • Catherine Ghyoot, International Aid & Cooperation Officer, DG INTPA

    GMES & Africa success stories (10’)
    Highlight concrete operational services delivered by the G&A Consortia and their benefits.
    • Tidiane Ouattara, Space Expert and GMES & Africa Coordinator, AUC

    EO in support to Blue Economy in Africa (10’)
    Focus on the University of Ghana services to the marine sector enabled by Copernicus Marine services and EUMETSAT Data.
    • Pierre Bahurel, CEO, Mercator Ocean International
    • Bennet Foli, Oceanographer, Regional Marine Centre – University of Ghana

    Q&A (15’)

    EO in support to Food Security in Africa (10’)
    Focus on one EO-based services to the Agriculture, enabled by Copernicus Global Land with link to GEO GEOGLAM initiative.
    • Felix Rembold, Scientific Officer, DG JRC
    • Mustapha Mimouni, Head of Remote Sensing and GIS Unit, Sahara and Sahel Observatory (OSS)

    EO in support to Climate and Disaster Resilience in Africa (10’)
    Focus on data from meteorological and climate satellite to support on seasonal forecasting and early warning with link to ClimSA Programme.
    • Joerg Schulz, Climate Service and Product Manager, EUMETSAT
    • Guleid Artan, Director, IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC)

    EO Applications and Development Cooperation in Africa (10’)
    Focus on ESA EO Application programme with a concrete case study (Urban mapping and planning)
    • Benjamin Koetz, Head of Sustainable Initiatives Office, ESA
    • Msilikale Msilanga, Resilience Academy Tanzania

    Q&A (15’)

  • Developments of data infrastructure and tools to deal with Earth Observation in Africa – Cloud computing: bringing the algorithm to the data, Data analytics, Digital Twin Earth, EO based e-services, (presentation of DIAS, African Research Cloud etc.) + AI example

    Moderator: Catherine Ghyoot, International Aid & Cooperation Officer, DG INTPA Rapporteur: Benjamin Koetz, Head of Sustainable Initiatives Office, ESA

    Use of NREN in support to EO (10’)
    Focus on Afri-Connect-3 and use of EUMETCast-Terrestrial & possible linked local cloud computing capabilities
    • Matthews Mtumbuka, CEO, Ubuntunet Alliance
    • Teddy Mwangi, GEO-IT Officer, Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD)
    • Vincent Gabaglio, International Relations Officer, EUMETSAT

    Joint DIAS presentation (20’)
    • Betlem Rosich, Earth Observation Application Engineer, ESA
    • Pascal Lazaridis, Project Manager, WEkEO
    • Luciano Lupédia, National Space Program Management Office (GGPEN)
    • Serkan Girgin, Assistant Professor, ITC

    Africa Knowledge Platform and Knowledge Centre on Earth Observation (10’)
    • Ivan Kulis, Head of Unit – Knowledge Management for Sustainable Development and Food Security, JRC

    Digital Twin of the Earth concept – a new opportunity for Africa? (10’)
    • Gordon Campbell, Head of Enterprise Section, ESA
    • Paul Counet, Head of Strategy and International Relations, EUMETSAT
    • Stephan Siemen, Policy Officer, DG Connect
    • Liina Munari, Deputy Head of Unit – Open science and digital modelling, DG Connect

    Perspective on African needs on Digitalization (5’)
    • Andiswa Mlisa, Managing Director EO, SANSA

    Q&A (5’)

  • This session will focus on what is planned for the future of Earth Observation, looking at systems such as Copernicus 2.0, MTG and the Atlantic Constellation addressing the cooperation between countries and programmes, focusing on interactions between Africa and Europe in this context. Discussion will seek to take into account the needs of the users, central to the application of next generation Earth Observation capacities and programmes.

    Moderator: Kizito Odhiambo, CEO, Agribora
    Rapporteur: Vincent Gabaglio, International Relations Officer, EUMETSAT

    Joint Presentation on MTG (15’)
    • Phil Evans, Director General, EUMETSAT
    • Mariane Diop Kane, Programme Manager, AMCOMET Secretariat World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

    Joint Presentation on the Atlantic Constellation (15’)
    • Miguel Bello, CEO, AIR Centre
    • Stewart Bernard, Chief Scientist, SANSA

    Q&A (10’)

    Copernicus Evolution and new EO technology (10’)
    • Simon JutzHead of Copernicus Office, ESA

    African Future Perspective (10’)
    • Valanathan Munsami, CEO, SANSA

    Q&A (5’)

  • This session will focus on the all-important issue of capacity-building and how increasing attention and cooperation in this area can help boost innovation and entrepreneurship on both continents. The discussion will look at already-existing initiative and programmes in this area, present success stories, and look to identify areas where more work can be done.

    Moderator: Mariane Diop Kane, Programme Manager, AMCOMET Secretariat World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
    Rapporteur: Marie Menard, Communications Officer, EUSPA

    Overview of current capacity-building programmes (40’)
    GMES & Africa
    • Meshack Ndiritu, GMES & Africa training officer, AUC

    Space for IDA (International Development Assistance) – sustainable EO adoption within development finance
    • Christoph Aubrecht, Program Coordinator – Global Development Assistance, ESA

    FPCUP: EU-initiative to increase Copernicus user uptake – examples from Africa
    • Carolina Sá, Earth Observation Officer, Portuguese Space Agency

    African Development Bank
    • Issa Maman-Sani, Director – Department of Environment & Social Safeguards and Compliance, African Development Bank

    Space for food security: the digitalisation of smallholder agriculture - The role of user engagement, capacity building and entrepreneurship
    • Ruud Grim, Programme Manager Space for Global Sustainable Development, Netherlands Space Office

    Q&A (10’)

    Boosting entrepreneurship in Africa – Opportunities for Entrepreneurs (15’)
    • Fiammetta Diani, Head of Market Development, EUSPA

    ESA BIC in Africa
    • Frank Salzgeber, Head of Innovation and Ventures Office, ESA

    African space entrepreneurship ecosystem success stories (15’)
    • Kizito Odhiambo, CEO, Agribora
    • Pierre Traoré, Director R&D, Manobi Africa; Principal Scientist, ICRISAT

    Q&A (10’)

  • June 11, 2021

  • Part 1
    • Manuel Heitor, Minister for Science, Technology and Higher Education, Portugal
    • Sarah Anyang Agbor, African Union Commissioner for Education, Science, Technology and Innovation
    • Josefa Leonel Correia Sacko, African Union Commissioner, ARBE
    • Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for Internal Market (tbc)
    • Josef Aschbacher, Director General, ESA

    Part 2
    Debate with young space researchers and entrepreneurs from Space Generation Advisory Council (3 min each):

    Moderator: Miguel Bello, CEO, Air Centre

    • Rania Toukebri, Tunisia
    • Iliass Tanouti, Morocco
    • Charles-Aimé Nzeussi Mbouendeu, Cameroon
    • Kingsley Ahenkora-Duodu, Ghana
    • Nelly-Helen Ebruka, Nigeria

    Part 3
    Report on the outcomes of technical day of the African-European Stakeholder meeting

    • Mimi Amaichigh, EUMETSAT
    • Carolina Sá, Earth Observation Officer, Portuguese Space Agency

  • Part 1
    Debate with institutional leaders (5 min each):
    Moderator: Ricardo Conde, President, Portuguese Space Agency

    • Ruvimbo Samanga, Space Law & Policy Analyst; Research Fellow at Open Lunar Foundation; Ban Ki-Moon Global Citizen Scholar; Space Agency Zimbabwe
    • Miguel Bello, CEO, AIR Centre
    • Giovanni De Santi, Director Sustainable Resources, DG JRC
    • Issa Maman-Sani, Director – Department of Environment & Social Safeguards and Compliance, African Development Bank

    Part 2
    Ministerial Debate

    Moderator: Manuel Heitor, Minister of Science Technology and Higher Education

    Intervention by Ministers from:
    • Martina Hirayama, State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation, Switzerland
    • Khaled Abdel Ghaffar, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Egypt
    • Thomas Jarzombek, Commissioner for the Digital Industry and Start-ups and Federal Government Coordinator of German Aerospace Policy, Germany
    • Saaïd Amzazi, Minister of National Education, Professional Training, Higher Education and Scientific Research, Morocco
    • Margit Mischkulnig, Head of Unit for Space Policy, Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology, Austria
    • Daniel Nivagara, Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, Mozambique
    • Others to be confirmed

  • Part 1
    Debate with entrepreneurs and business leaders (5 min each):
    Moderator: Rodrigo da Costa, Executive Director, EUSPA

    • Frank Salzgeber, Head of Innovation and Ventures Office, ESA
    • Kizito Odhiambo, CEO, Agribora
    • Rafel Jorda Siquier, CEO, Open Cosmos
    • Francisco Cunha, CEO, Geosat
    • Pierre Traoré, Director R&D, Manobi Africa; Principal Scientist, ICRISAT
    • Vivianne Meta, Geomatics Lead, LocateIT Ltd
    • Andiswa Mlisa, Managing Director EO, SANSA

    Part 2
    Ministerial Debate

    Moderator: Manuel Heitor, Minister of Science Technology and Higher Education

    Intervention by Ministers from:
    • Maria do Rosário Sambo, Minister for Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Angola
    • Simon Zajc, State Secretary of Economic Development and Technology, Slovenia
    • Kandjii-Murangi, Minister of Higher Education, Training and Innovation, Namibia
    • Dávid Szesztai, Head of Space Research and Space Activities, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Hungary
    • Paulo Veiga, Minister for Maritime Economy, Cape Verde
    • Pedro Duque, Minister of Science and Innovation. Spain
    • Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Science and Technology, Nigeria
    • Blade Nzimande, Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, South Africa
    • Others to be confirmed

    • Manuel Heitor, Minister for Science, Technology and Higher Education, Portugal

    • Manuel Heitor, Minister for Science, Technology and Higher Education, Portugal
    • Sarah Anyang Agbor, African Union Commissioner for Education, Science, Technology and Innovation

    • Mahama Ouedraogo, Director ESTI, AUC
    • Pedro Conceição, Director of the Human Development Report Office, UNDP

  • Debate with institutional leaders (5 min each):
    Moderator: Ricardo Conde, President, Portuguese Space Agency

    • Mahama Ouedraogo, Director ESTI, AUC
    • Phil Evans, Director General, EUMETSAT
    • Koen Doens, Director General, DG INTPA
    • Patrick Child, Deputy Director General, DG RTD
    • Rodrigo da Costa, Executive Director, EUSPA
    • Augusto Gonzalez, Advisor, DG DEFIS

    • Ricardo Conde, President, Portuguese Space Agency
    • Miguel Bello, CEO, AIR Centre