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Copernicus User Uptake

The African private sector involved in remote sensing and geospatial technology and addressing scientific, practical and policy aspects has considerably grown over the past 20 years, but there is little information allowing to understand how companies operate and what their potential is.

The purpose of the study was therefore to carry out a survey in order to derive a detailed inventory of African private sectors companies working in the field of Earth Observation (EO) and Geospatial information sciences.

In the context to be established by the Cooperation Agreement between the European Commission (EC) and the African Union Commission (AUC) in the area of data access and use of Sentinel data of the Copernicus programme, and for achieving the above objective in time for the start of the implementation of GMES & Africa under PanAF in 2016, the involvement of the relevant associations in Europe and Africa – the European Association of Remote Sensing Companies (EARSC) and African Association of Remote Sensing of the Environment (AARSE) was requested.

EARSC’ methodology for establishing inventories in Europe and using it for market development has been matched with AARSE’s access to networks across the African continent to gather the required information. AARSE and EARSC have closely cooperated, in the framework of their Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), for the analysis and presentation of data, thus creating synergy with activities currently undertaken by EARSC to expand the international scope of its EO industry surveys.