What can Earth Observation do for Benin and Togo?

In the frame of the collaboration between NEREUS, Bremen Region, and GIZ, a delegation of experts working in research centers and public administrations from Togo and Benin traveled to Brussels to meet with the European Institutions and the European space community.


On the 15th of February 2018, NEREUS hosted a Working Breakfast Meeting aiming at presenting the project’s evolution and facilitating the encounter with NEREUS members active in the field of Earth Observation, African embassies, and other stakeholder associations. With over 30 participants, the meeting was a fruitful opportunity to showcase what can be done with Copernicus data in different application domains, such as urban planning and public health.


The meeting was opened by the warm welcome speeches of H.E. Ambassador of Benin Zacharie Richard AKPLOGAN and H.E. Ambassador of Togo, Kokou Nayo M’BEOU, who joined the discussion until the end.


After learning about NEREUS and the GIZ project, the audience listened to the presentations given by Prof. Eleonore Wolff and Prof. Sabine Vanhuysse (Université Libre de Bruxelles) on their research activities in African urban contexts: the MAUPP project looks into how to foresee the evolution of urban population in sub-Saharan cities, while REACT uses remote sensing to test and develop methodologies to fight against malaria.  The presentations stimulated a vivid discussion on how African researchers and decision-makers can benefit from Copernicus and EO-enabled products and services developed in Europe. Many questions were related to capacity-building opportunities for African researchers, to the costs and skills needed to benefit from such technologies, as well as to the ways of linking research results to decision-makers.


At the end of the Breakfast Meeting, arrangements were made for the delegation to join the European Commission (with presentations from DG GROW, DG DEVCO and Copernicus Marine and Environment Monitoring Service), the European Space Agency and visit the Belgian company SPACEBEL.





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