Geomatics and remote sensing drive Africa-focused MoUs

Earth observation and data analysis are in the news again thanks to two MoUs of strong relevance to Africa.

The European Association of Remote Sensing Companies (EARSC) and the Réseau des Professionels Africains de la Géomatique (RPAG) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish formal cooperation between the two associations.

EARSC is a European trade association representing more than 130 companies registered in 25 European countries that promotes the use of Earth observation (EO) technology. Earth observation, the gathering of information about the physical, chemical, and biological systems of the planet Earth, can be performed via satellites or through direct-contact sensors in ground-based or airborne platforms.

RPAG represents over 1,000 geomatics professionals in 28 countries and 26 companies, promoting the use of geomatics to solve African countries’ challenges. Geomatics is the branch of science that deals with the collection, analysis and interpretation of data relating to the earth's surface.

The MoU aligns with the objective of strengthening and deepening working relations between the two associations in areas of mutual interest related to Earth observation capabilities and capacity-building activities, with a focus on collaboration between Africa and Europe.

The main beneficiaries of this MoU, say the partners, will be African and European organisations and companies wanting to develop partnerships and joint projects that are interested in benefiting from the sharing of best practices and exchange of expertise, information and technologies linked to EO. This exchange will be  supported and facilitated by EARSC and RPAG.

The MoU is also an important step towards promoting international collaboration within the framework of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and developing new Earth observation services for the benefit of African and European organisations and companies. 

The MoU will also further encourage these different communities to make use of both associations’ existing tools and knowledge sharing platforms.

This agreement follows hard on the heels of an MoU recently signed by the Eratosthenes Center for Excellence at the University of Cyprus of Technology and the Regional Remote Sensing Centre for North Africa (CRTEAN). The MoU aims to establish CRTEAN as a pivotal link between North African nations and the countries of the Middle East and Southern Europe. CRTEAN was established on October 5 1990. The founding law was signed by Algeria, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia and Libya, after which Egypt and Sudan joined.

It's also hoped that, by leveraging the two institutions’ collective expertise and resources, the collaboration can foster advancements in remote sensing applications, data analysis, and environmental monitoring.

Through this joint endeavour, researchers and scientists from North Africa, the Middle East, and Southern Europe will have the opportunity to collaborate on interdisciplinary projects, share knowledge, and tackle pressing environmental challenges.

By harnessing the power of remote sensing technologies, the partners add, this collaboration aims to provide valuable insights into areas such as natural resource management, climate change mitigation, and sustainable development.


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