SBAS in Africa…

Europe started its activities in the field of Satellite Navigation with the design and implementation of EGNOS, the European Geostationary Overlay Service, now providing operational services for aviation in Europe since 2009.Initial services are already provided in North-Africa and improvement of performances in all ENP South countries under consideration.Provision of SBAS services in Africa results from the fact that a geostationary spacecraft covers both Europe and Africa and more globally  from the political cooperation between the EU and the African Union.

Indeed, in Africa, while growth is very high compared to the rest of the world, this being supported by a dynamic demography, it is recognized that in the Aeronautical sector the safety performances still require improvement with regards to international standards.Satellite navigation through the provision of SBAS services in Africa is therefore an opportunity to improve flight safety, and more globally to contribute to its socio-economic growth, not only in the transport sector (aviation, maritime, inland waterways), but also in other sectors such as mining, oil, agriculture, land management etc …

Thanks to intense activity of the EC (DG GROW) the initiative to provide SBAS services in Africa started in 2010 ,culminating these last years .This results in an international agreement signed between ASECNA and the EU with the objective to provide SBAS services in Western and Central Africa and the setting up of an African Management Team in Dakar ,Senegal. The last STC (Specialized Technical Committee, technical arm of the AU), held in Lomé in March 13-17, 2017, provided guidelines for short term actions in order to assess the cost benefits of the services in support to decision making process with regards to endorsement by the African Union Summit by 2019.

Setting up of an African Team in Africa: the JPO

The JPO’s ambition is to constitute the pan-African instrument in charge of coordinating the development of SBAS services in  Africa.Consistent with the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES), the 10th European Development Fund, in its component, known as SAFIR, has made it possible to setup, staff and operationalize the EGNOS-Africa Joint Programme management Office (JPO).Moreover, thanks to the initiative of the EC(DG DevCO) the Pan African program (so-called Pan’Af), funded under the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI) on the General budget of the EU, includes in its Infrastructure component the follow up Action  “Support to the Joint Programme Office (JPO)”.Hosted on its owned premises rented by ASECNA in Dakar, Senegal, JPO began its activities in December 2013 and staffing was completed in September 2014, thus making JPO fully operational.

Following the departure of the first Director of the JPO in October 2016, Semou Diouf took over the leadership of the JPO from his previous position as Deputy-Director to Director.JPO staff includes a management team (currently 3) including the Programme manager ,Moustapha Boukary, and the Legal and economic Manager , Dr Aicha Alou Oumarou. A nominal Team of 5 experts (currently 4), namely Ata Olori for non-Aviation and Maritime, Agnes Kobusinge for Operations and  Aviation and Alex Wanda, GNSS, covering GNSS key specialties (technical and operational) complete the JPO Team under the supervision of the Programme Manager.

A dedicated and brand new building, is under final stage of construction by ASECNA and will house the JPO Office in the near future (early 2018 )

Challenging objectives

The JPO has ambitious and challenging objectives in its current Programme called ‘The Action’.The team undertakes  tasks of different nature encompassing legal and institutional related activities such as development of a legal framework for the future of the JPO or supporting African SBAS initiatives such as ASECNA SBAS Programme (an international convention between the EU and ASECNA was concluded in December 2016).

The JPO through its modular Strategy is supporting four ‘’regional modules » composed of North Africa, West and Central Africa, Eastern Africa and Southern Africa.Activities are presently running steadily with the Eastern Africa module main actors involvement, in particular EAC (East Africa Community) and IGAD (Intergovernmental Authority on Development) ; economic studies aim at  estimating  benefits for the Member States involved.

Success is involved …

The SUCCESS contract aiming at “supporting international activities in EGNSS “,  interfaces with the EC services and the JPO.Intense activity in supporting the EC-DG DevCo in the last JPO Review set up in Brussels last June (13-14) aimed at assessing the status of all activities through relevant documentation.

More generally frequent exchanges are occurring between the JPO staff and Success mainly with Dr Daniel Ludwig as Managing advisor of SUCCESS and Bruno Roussel Technical advisor. This includes working meetings in Dakar or Brussels to review and assess together specific key ongoing technical studies.