Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Africa Catalyzing Action for Nutrition (AfriCAN)

25 May 2023
. Africa Catalyzing Action for Nutrition (AfriCAN) was launched on Africa Day, May 25th 2022, the same year declared by the African Union as the “Year of Nutrition”. Africa while registering some progress is still not on course to meet the 2025 Malabo goal to end hunger and reduce stunting to 10% or the 2030 goal to end all forms of malnutrition.

AfriCAN’s approach, is to inform, educate, advocate, and inspire action at all levels and the goal is for communities to become “Nutrition Literate”, with the knowledge, skills, and the will to improve their nutrition situation individually and collectively.

AfriCAN’s niche is at the community level with a focus on the youth, and where we aim to bridge the gap between policy and action and between political will and the people’s will, while inspiring the youth to rise to the malnutrition challenge.

Part one : A 2 hour hybrid meeting with virtual and in-person participants 11am-2pm GMT

  1. Welcome remarks
  2. Presentation of AfriCAN Strategic Plan 2023-2025
  3. Perspectives from in-person and virtual participants on the theme:
  4. The Youth are the Foundation for Nutrition Literate Communities
  5. Interlude: “Artists for a Healthy and Well Nourished Africa “
  6. Message from partners
  7. Wrap up
  8. Launch of AfriCAN Strategic Initiatives
    • Good Nutrition Starts With Me Youth Initiative
    • Nutrition Literate Community Initiative

Part two: Group work with recommendations to support AfriCAN moving forward

Dr. Namanga Ngongi (Cameroon), AfriCAN Board Chair

Dr. Namanga Ngongi, former deputy Executive Director of the World Food Programme, Under Secretary General and Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in DR Congo and Head of the UN Peacekeeping Mission in the country

Professor Francis B. Zotor, (Ghana) , AfriCAN Board Director, Event Moderator

Professor Zotor is a Professor of Public Health Nutrition at the School of Public Health, University of Health and Allied Sciences in Ghana. He is a recognized leader spanning over two decades in nutrition across Africa

Ms. Julia Tagwireyi (Zimbabwe), AfriCAN Board Director

Julia Tagwireyi  has over 45 years experience in public nutrition including  8 years in the Caribbean and over 30 years in Zimbabwe and on the African continent. 

Dr. Josué Dioné (Mali), AfriCAN Board Director

Former Research Specialist, and Associate Professor for International Development at the Michigan State University (MSU) for over 13 years

Mr. Modou Cheyassin Phall (Gambia), AfriCAN Director

Mr Modou Cheyassin Phall served as the  Executive Director of the National Nutrition Agency (NaNA) for 15 years before retiring in 2021 he is part of the pioneering team that led the transformation of the Gambia’s Nutrition Unit under the Ministry of Health,  to the National Nutrition Agency under the Office of the Vice President. 

Ms. Fatou Cham,  (Gambia) Reproductive Health Rights Advocate, Intern, AfriCAN

Fatou Cham  a youth advocate in the area of Sexual and reproductive health and rights, believes that together, we can all play a role in being change agents to make our world a better place. 

Dr. Lawalley Cole (Ethiopia), Executive Director, CAFOR

Dr Cole is the Executive Director of the Coalition on Media and Education for Development Africa Forum (CAFOR) and currently based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia at the African Union Commission Headquarters

Dr. Charity Binka (Ghana), Executive Director, Women, Media and Change

Dr. Charity Binka is the Executive Director of Women, Media and Change (WOMEC) a non-governmental organization (NGO) that is committed to gender equality and the empowerment of women.

Mr. Alasan Senghore, (Gambia), Secretary General, Gambia Red Cross Society

Mr. Senghore is currently seconded by the International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC) to the Gambia Red Cross Society as Secretary General.

Dr. Batamaka Somé  (Burkina Faso), International Consultant 

Dr Somé is an anthropologist, a farm entrepreneur and research consultant based in Burkina Faso. 

Ms. Mariam Mansaray, (Gambia) Digital Specialist and Youth Advocate

As a digital specialist, Mariam develops and executes marketing strategies for  clients, creating engaging content ideas, monitoring social media pages, and developing campaigns to boost visibility and engagement for businesses

Mr. Tandong Calistus Jong (Cameroon), African Agriculture Ambassador

Mr. Jong is a Youth Activist and Advocate – African Agriculture ambassador, AUC-PACA Award Winner and Food Safety Campaigner.

Dr. Amat Bah, Executive Director, National Nutrition Agency (NaNA), The Gambia

Dr Amat Bah is the Executive Director of the National Nutrition Agency [NaNA] and currently the Project Coordinator of the World Bank Gambia Government supported Gambia Social Safety Net Project (GSSNP).

Mr. Baba Jaiteh, (Gambia) Co-Founder and Head of Operations, GISQO – Youth owned and Youth Led Software Development Company

Baba Jaiteh is a computer science and technology professional and co-founder of Gisqo, a software development and digital marketing company based in The Gambia. 

Ms. Binta Khan Badgie, (Gambia) Entrepreneur, CEO and Co-founder Nopal Jegg  

Binta Khan Badjie is a wife, mother, an Entrepreneur, a banker by profession and the CEO of Nopal Jegg Enterprise.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Fostering the Africa-Europe partnership for a just rural transformation in the Sahel

This high-level conference builds on the international momentum around the GGWI and follows up on the One Planet Summit, the 6th AU-EU Heads of State Summit and international conferences such as the Biodiversity, Desertification and Climate COPs. 

It also complements the launch of the Global Gateway and new EU regulations on deforestation-free products. The conference brought together key stakeholders from Africa and Europe (political leaders, field experts, research organisations, development and financial institutions, and civil society) to discuss how to enhance the African-European partnership, and develop credible mid (2030) and long-term (2050) strategies for investment in the Great Green Wall.


  • Catherine Chabaud, MEP (Renew), Member of the Development (DEVE) Committee, Member of the Intergroup on Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development, Member of the SDG Alliance

  • Ibrahim Mayaki, AU Special Envoy for Food Systems, and Co-chair of the Africa-Europe Foundation Strategy Group on Agriculture and Food Systems; Honorary President of the Sahel and West Africa Club at the OECD; former Prime Minister of Niger and CEO of AUDA-NEPAD

    "We tend to forget that the definition of the Great Green Wall was actually a paradigm shift in our development patterns. We were used to managing macro economic indicators, sectorial indicators, and we used to neglect the spatial dimension of development. And this Great Green Wall aims at discovering this spatial dimension in development."

    "This is a multisectoral project. We deal with climate issues, job creation, agriculture, land management, land planning. And from an institutional point of view, we're not ready to deal with these multi sectoral issues. This weakness is also reflected by the large array of partners.

    "We need to introduce innovation at the institutional level: a model that goes beyond national offices, beyond the agency as such, in order to have a more global architecture."

  • Brahim Said, Executive Secretary of the Pan African Agency of the Great Green Wall (PAAGGW)

  • Ibrahim Thiaw, Executive Secretary at the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)

    "Europe and Africa need to rethink their relationship to land. Africa was always a promised land for Europe. During the slavery time of the triangle trade, the Europeans came to Africa to take slaves and to bring them to America. African farmers have created Europe through the sugar plantations. Colonized Africa created value from the resources and exported the resources. The trade of raw materials exploitation continues today. We have to review the EU-Africa relationship in order to create more jobs in Africa, more African value chains to have at least some level of local processing in Africa. But for that, we we need to keep some minimum level of economic development in Africa. We produce cocoa for example, but we don't have chocolate and we only have 5 or 6% of revenues, staying in Africa. The rest goes for export and this is what we have to review."  
  • S.E Mahamadou Issoufou, former President of Niger, Champion of the Great Green Wall and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), and member of the Africa-Europe Foundation (AEF) High Level Panel of Personalities

    "The Mahamadou Issoufou Foundation will organize with the Niger government a Forum on the commitment of the private sector to the Great Green Wall initiative. This forum will take place on June 5 2023."
  • Stéphane Bijoux, MEP, Vice-chair of the Committee on Development (DEVE), Chair of the EU-CARIFORUM Delegation, Member of the Intergroup on Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development

From words to action – implementing the Great Green Wall

As showcased in recent IPCC reports, the drylands of the Sahel are suffering ever-more volatile patterns of rainfall, greater risk of flooding and harsher droughts. Heavy pressure from farming has squeezed grazing lands and led to the degradation of soils and vegetation, and falling crop yields. But pockets of green hope exist where more resilient rural landscapes have been created, and people’s incomes and livelihoods improved. We need to share solutions from existing actions which offer lessons for policy and practice, and demonstrate how to accelerate the Great Green Wall Initiative across the region

The Great Green Wall Initiative was initially created by leaders of the African Union to offer tools to their population to create local prosperity for and by themselves. The initiative is based on people on the frontlines fighting every day to build better livelihoods. These voices from the field provide a better understanding of the challenges but also the opportunities offered by the initiative, and how better to support local efforts which can achieve global impact.

This session aims to demonstrate concrete success stories from the field, offering testimony which illustrates the key ingredients needed to make progress, and presenting practical and replicable measures. Such examples must provide the foundation stones for scaling up the implementation of the Great Green Wall Initiative.

  • Oumar Abdoulaye Bâ, Director of ASERGMV (Senegalese Agency for the Great Green Wall reforestation)

    "A young lady  in the Great Green Wall will probably get married when she is 13 years. When she turns 16 she will have her first born and a second child when 18. While pregnant again, she wakes up at 5am to walk 2, 3, or 5 kilometers to bring water at home and to prepare breakfast. She would have to take the road again at 2pm to bring back water to cook for her children. And you look at her from your cooled car, and you ask her to do something to decarbonize. Maybe it's meaningful for you but not for her because you don't have the same priorities. If you just planted a strip of trees, you missed the point."

    "We need to have a mapping of the collective intelligence as we work at the service of communities. It is important that we listen to them because these people have been living in those areas for hundreds of years. They have a local knowledge that we have to give value. When you go to the Sahel, you see abandoned cars, abandoned houses. This is a picture that you have to keep in mind. Such intelligence starts by understanding what is important. What we know is not important. What they don't know is not important. 3 things happen: (a) What you don't know, you know; (b) What you know, you know; (c) But what you don't know you don't know is more important than anything else. 
     When we don't have this, we don't have it at all. The only solution is collective intelligence.
  • Birguy Lamizana, Sahel Senior Programme Manager, Global Mechanism at the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
  • Yusuf Maina Bakar, Director of the Great Green Wall for Nigeria
  • Rémi Hémeryck, Executive Director SOS Sahel
  • Patrick Worms, Senior Science Policy Advisor, CIFOR-ICRAF
  • Nabil Ben Khatra, Executive Secretary of the Sahel and Sahara Observatory
  • Andrew Harper, Special Advisor to the High Commissioner for Climate Action at the United Nations Human Right Commission (UNHCR)

    "We have to look at where we've got to move, away from the polemics and the jargon and look at where there is a convergence between the interests of both Africa and Europe? And it comes down to the stabilization of populations. But not just to force the stabilization of populations. It's about the dignity of people. It's about giving people a sense of future. And if you don't do that, you're gonna have what's happening now. There's a lot of bravado, there's a lot of success stories, but I've been to sone of these locations and it's miserable."

    "UNHCR has 60 officers in West Africa in the Sahel for a reason. Because each one of these countries is hosting refugees, or internally displaced persons. Populations are going to double in some countries, including Burkina within the next 20 years. Climate change is real. 
    El Nino is real. You're gonna have crop failures. You're gonna have increasing competition over water. You're gonna have violence. You're gonna have displacement. You're gonna have mega trends which are going to be exacerbated by the inability of richer developed nations (who have benefited from the resources of all of Africa), to own up to the responsibilities and actually support what's required."

    "There's not a lack of data. There's not a lack of analysis. There's not a lack of trends. There's not a lack of projects. There's not a lack of passion, you're hearing the passion all around us now. There's a lack of action."

    "We've got Macron's Summit coming up in June [Sommet pour un « Nouveau pacte financier mondial » 22 - 23 June]. We've got the African Climate Summit [4 - 6 September]. We've got the SG Secretary General's Climate Ambition Summit 2023 [20 September 2023]. We've got the COP 28 presidency coming up [November]. There's enough summit there's enough talk. At what point do we start challenging ourselves to say: okay, what steps are going to be made between now and the Macron Summit?"

    "Let's turn the the approach from one of of promoting dependency to one of promoting empowerment, one of sustainability. One of using African solutions, but with Northern resources. We don't have time to waste. I was talking to the European Parliament a year ago and I don't think much has changed. So each one of us has a responsibility not to accept the status quo. Each one of us has a responsibility to challenge our neighbor to say: Okay, what you're actually saying is true." 
This panel discussion was followed by a short presentation from a delegation of French students to report on their field trip in Senegal, to visit: Tolou Keurs, Senegal’s drought-resistant circular gardens
  • Crop circles of a new kind are sprouting in Senegal. These circular, drought-resistant Tolou Keur gardens are designed to improve food security, slow desertification, and provide livelihoods within communities living just south of the Sahara Desert.
  • In this Reuters video from Boki Diawe, agricultural engineer Aly Ndiaye explains Tolou Keur gardens, a relatively new approach to the Great Green Wall reforestation project. Ndiaye envisions the Tolou Keur gardens linking together across the country.

Unlocking finance & delivering an ambitious Africa-Europe agenda for the Great green wall

Endowed since the One Planet Summit in 2021 with a financial envelope of $19 billion for the period from 2021-2025, the Great Green Wall initiative needs to be further supported in order to deliver and demonstrate the social, economic and environmental benefits it can bring to the Sahel’s development. A clear mapping of the pledges is needed to build strong partnerships, and develop credible mid (2030) and long-term (2050) strategies.
  1. How to unlock the finance pledges, make funding more efficient and agile for projects with demonstrated socio-economic and environmental benefits? What complementary measures to strengthen delivery on the ground?
  2. How to encourage Europe to work with African leaders to develop a long-term approach to support the Great Green Wall, encompassing a sustainable agri-food production plan (e.g. plant-based and animal protein plan) and soil restoration?
  3. Can Europe and Africa co-create a sustainable food-production plan in the Sahel to cope with the rise in famines, food insecurity, and how can the Sahel region benefit most from the Great Green Wall initiative?
  • Myriam Ferran Deputy Director General, DG International Partnership, European Commission

    "We have pledged more than 700 million euros a year during the lifetime of the program. We are in the middle of the process of implementing. We have met this expectation for 2021 and we are in a good way to also meet the financial commitment for 2022 and 2023."

     project in Senegal, has the objective of creating 2000 new green jobs, restoring 30,000 hectare of land and improving land governance."
  • Dorsuma Al-Hamndou, Division Manager, Climate and Green Growth Department at African Development Bank Group (AfDB)
  • Markus Berndt, Director-General and acting Managing Director at the European Investment Bank (EIB)
  • Estherine Fotabong, Director of Programme Implementation and Coordination at the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD)

    "20 billion euros have been made available by the one Planet Summit for the accelerator program. However, the estimated figure to implement the program is about 33 billion. Why do we [only] have 10% or 2.5 billion disbursed. There must be a problem somewhere? Have we identified that? What are the reasons for this?"

    "The member states do not even know where the resources are. We should map where these resources are [...] so that member states can be informed to approach these sources to get these resources."

    "A reason for this low disbursement is the potential to develop bankable programs that can be financed. We support member states by putting in place a project development facility that works with member states to look at developing the multi sector integrated programs."

    "The Great Green Wall is a flagship of the EU. Perhaps we need to interrogate what does that mean? 
    The implementation support, for instance, is 700 million, which is a significant resource. [But] is there a clear action plan on how to disburse these funds to member states or to the institutions that support member states to implement their action plans of the Great Green Wall initiative in their countries?"

    "I don't think we give sufficient importance on how little resources can empower communities and provide alternative livelihoods to these communities. The TerraFund for AFR100 [a fund for locally led land restoration projects operating in Africa] grants small sums of money: $5,000. It turns out that $10,000 or maximum $20,000  is doing a lot in terms of income generating activities."

    "It took us perhaps 10 years to start getting traction for this very important program. Why? Because we get changes in the rules of the multilateral systems. At the time we were designing this program, regional funding of GEF
    [Global Environmental Facility] was a priority. By the time we finished designing it, it wasn't a priority anymore. We moved into supporting national programs and therefore there was no funding coming for such an important initiative. So consistency and long term commitment are essential."

  • Sandra Rullière, Deputy Head of Rural Development and Agriculture Division at the French Development Agency (AFD) (tbc)
  • William Kwende, Founder of Serious Shea, Burkina Faso 

    "Only sustainable value chains are going to make the Great Green Wall project survive beyond us for the next generation. 15 million women are producing 1 million tons of Shea butter. 90% of it goes to chocolate. And without that we wouldn't have chocolate anymore.  If the private sector doesn't take this role, nobody will do it."

    "With the support of the AFDB
    we have developed a technology that can help process Shea in the Sahel without the need of fossil fuel. [...] We are also connecting the community that are processing their goods to the international market. [...] We use the processing opportunity to produce fertilizers because every byproducts of agro-processing has the potential to produce fertilizers."

    "The private sector in Africa has an important role to play because we see it as the only way to make these opportunities sustainable."

  • Ahmed Aziz Diallo, Mayor of Dori & C3Sahel Coordinator

  • Barry Andrews, Member of the European Parliament, President of the SDG Alliance

  • Diane Binder, President of the Alliance of the Private Sector for the Great Green Wall
"Sahel land is actually very rich and very wealthy. We are talking about products like Moringa, Shea, Baobab, Balantes,... I could name probably 60 other species like those ones which have a market potential, which are good for the health and which are good for the planets."  
"I don't believe that the Great Green Wall Initiative in the Sahel actually needs public aid. What I believe is that public aid needs to be there to unlock opportunities that already exist. Capacities exist, the products exist and the markets exist and need to be supported."  

Related: Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR)

Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) is a low-cost land restoration technique used to combat
poverty and hunger amongst poor subsistence farmers by increasing food and timber production and resilience to climate extremes. 
  • In practice, FMNR involves the systematic regrowth and management of trees and shrubs from felled tree stumps, sprouting root systems or seeds. 
  • The regrown trees and shrubs – integrated into crops and grazing pastures – help restore soil structure and fertility, inhibit erosion and soil moisture evaporation, rehabilitate springs and the water table, and increase biodiversity. 
  • Some tree species also impart nutrients such as nitrogen into the soil
  • As a result, FMNR can double crop yields, provide building timber and firewood, fodder and shade for livestock, wild foods for nutrition and medication, and increase incomes and living standards for farming families and their communities. 

2023 African Economic Outlook (AEO) report

The 2023 African Economic Outlook (AEO) report, the Bank’s annual premier flagship publication, focuses on the options for tapping into private sector resources as well harnessing the continent’s enormous natural capital as a promising avenue to contribute to the fight against climate change and the transition to green growth.

In addition to analysing Africa's growth performance and outlook amid increased uncertainties and elevated global geopolitical tensions, heightened climate risks and lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the AEO 2023 covers topics such as:
  1. opportunities and barriers for leveraging private sector financing for green growth in Africa;
  2. strategies, policies, and actions required to mobilize both domestic and international private sector financing; 
  3. and specific roles development financial institutions (DFIs) and multilateral development banks (MDBs) in general.
The African Economic Outlook 2023 underscores the urgency to fast-track climate action and green transitions to drive the continent’s inclusive and sustainable development. The Bank’s new research, based on African countries’ latest submitted Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), estimates that private sector financing will need to grow annually by 36 percent until 2030 to close the continent's climate finance gap, evaluated on average at $213.4 billion per year. This will be important to address the continent’s climate financing needs, estimated at as much as $2.8 trillion over 2020-2030, or $250 billion annually. Unlocking private climate financing will require addressing both demand- and supply-side barriers while developing innovative financing instruments to tap into the continent’s enormous investment opportunities in climate and green growth.

The report also highlights the important role of Africa’s huge natural capital, valued at $6.2 trillion in 2018, in bridging the prevailing climate finance gap and promoting green growth transitions. Through sustainable management, Africa's abundant natural capital can be transformed into financial assets to complement financing for climate adaptation and mitigation, as well as into investments that support green growth transitions. This will require the deployment of appropriate policies and instruments, including fiscal instruments, to better understand the true value of Africa’s natural capital and strengthen local content and value addition. It will also build institutional capacity to address gaps in governance that have prevented the continent from realizing the full potential of its natural endowments and create regional value chains and markets to benefit from cross-regional synergies.


  • Africa has great potential and self-interest to achieve green growth. However, despite its growing political commitment toward green growth and its rich natural capital endowment, the continent lags other regions on many green growth dimensions, in particular on the provision of green economic opportunities. Progress on efficient and sustainable resource use and on the promotion of social inclusion has not been sufficient to catch up with other world regions.
  • To close Africa’s climate financing gap by 2030, approximately $213.4 billion will need to be mobilized annually from the private sector, to complement constrained public resources. Africa received $4.2 billion in private climate finance in 2019/2020, 14 percent of total climate finance flows of $29.5 billion. It requires $242.4 billion a year on average until 2030 — $2.7 trillion over 2020–30 — to implement its climate action expressed in the latest submitted Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
  • In addition, Africa will require about $1.3 trillion annually to meet its sustainable development needs by 2030 — and thus to achieve green growth. Most of this finance is expected to be met through private finance. To meet these needs and given the current levels of public climate finance, private climate finance should increase by about 36 percent each year until 2030.
  • However, barriers on the supply and demand sides inhibit reaching the full potential of private investments in climate and green growth sectors in Africa. Ineffective implementation of green growth strategies, weak regulatory structures and institutions, high perceived investment risk, and the lack of bankable project pipelines continue to impede private investment in Africa’s climate and green growth projects.
  • Despite the barriers, many investment opportunities in climate action and green growth could unlock private finance. Sectors that will rely on climate smart and low-carbon technologies — such as renewable energies and electric vehicles, energy-efficient buildings, climate-resilient infrastructure, improved dryland crop production, and water resource resilience — present Africa’s trillion-dollar market opportunities for the private sector. The implementation of appropriate regulatory, policy, and institutional frameworks is essential for turning them into booming markets for private investors.


Harnessing Africa’s enormous natural capital to complement its climate finance needs and sustainable and green economic growth requires the following policies and actions by different stakeholders and at various levels:
  • African governments need to use appropriate natural resource policies and instruments to finance sustainable and green economic growth. These include:
    • fiscal instruments to increase resource revenues and linkages with industrialization; 
    • increase local content and value addition to natural resources and utilization along value chains; 
    • in-country value creation and retention; 
    • controlling illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing and curbing the high rate of deforestation
    • investing in human capital across the value chain and build international negotiation capacity; 
    • and building transparent and accountable institutions to govern their resources and guard against illicit trade, illicit financial flows and corruption. 
    • It also is important to ensure that returns are used to build inclusive and sustainable development. Sovereign wealth funds can be useful, but also need good governance.

  • African countries should also invest in data collection for better valuation and measurement of natural capital, including implementing and integrating natural capital and ecosystem services into the standard system of national accounts; implementing appropriate fiscal and market instruments for optimal utilization of both renewable and non-renewable natural resources that take climate change and green growth into account; investing in the capacity, technology, approaches and tools needed to benefit from best practices in exploration and licensing initiatives, and international agreements; and reforming institutions to improve transparency and implement best practices for the governance of natural resource.
  • The global community should honor pledges and commitments in international agreements such as the agreement on a Loss and Damage Fund, the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, and the Paris climate agreement. It should increase collaboration and coordination among stakeholders — including international and regional multilateral organizations, national governments, and the private sector— to invest in the sustainable management of Africa’s natural resources while ensuring equity in the distribution of rents despite competitive advantages between investors and investment destinations.
  • Multilateral development banks, bilateral donors, and corporations have a role in promoting transparency in contractual negotiations and operations to ensure that African countries get good deals from natural resource investments. Efficient use of natural resources involves improving regional integration and for trade, sharing information, and learning from each other. Furthermore, although natural capital is becoming relevant in the environmental sustainability leg of the Environmental, Social, and Governance rating by credit risk and rating agencies, more needs to be done to adequately reflect the value of natural capital assets in the credit risk profiles of African countries. They should also support Regional Member Countries in enhancing their credit risk profiles by integrating the true value of natural capital to help them boost their creditworthiness and mobilize foreign capital and bond issuance as part of their climate finance in the international market

Earth Observation & Artificial Intelligence solutions for climate change challenges

25 May 2023
. 9H30 - 16H25 Earth Observation & Artificial Intelligence solutions for climate change challenges

This new edition of the AI4Copernicus event will focus on climate change and its impact on energy, food and water security. To withstand current and future pressures on our natural resources, integrated and sustainable management practices are required to balance the needs of people, nature and the economy.

The AI4Copernicus day will offer the opportunity to:
  • Review the latest technological developments in the use of AI for Earth Observation.
  • Get a better idea of the challenges that society is facing in the field of climate change.
  • Witness some examples of existing technological implementations of AI and EO to address the issue of water, energy and food security.
  • Initiate new collaborations.

  • Thomas Kallstenius, Chief Executive Officer, Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology
  • Seraphine Luneau, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Framework Partnership Agreement on Copernicus User Uptake
  • Davis Tuia, EPFL - Machine learning for the environment: monitoring the pulse of our Planet with remotely sensed data
  • Olivier Dubois, Oscars S.A. ALF (Coalitional) Active Learning Factory

  • Paolo Campanella, WASDI Accurate and automatic flood maps based on SAR and optical data
  • Heein Yang – Contec Space SARL - Global scale crisis analysis tool: CONTEC Space Studio
  • Sergio Albani, SatCenClimate and energy security initiatives at SatCen
  • Francesco Bongiovanni, LuxProvide - Making environmental science environmentally friendly: follow the merm(AI)d
  • Antoine Halff, Kayrros - Satellites + AI for climate action (remote)
  • Franz Fayot, Minister of the Economy
  • Thomas Dermine, State Secretary for Science Policy, Recovery Program and Strategic Investments at Belgian Federal Government
  • Bart Beusen, VITO- Swin Transformers and U-Net for remote sensing based surface water monitoring
  • Yu Li, Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology - Automatic built-up area mapping from SAR and optical data with cross-fusion neural network
  • Tiffanie Godelaine, UCLouvain - Use of active learning for object detection task in satellite images
  • Claudio Persello, University of Twente - Towards the First Global Multitemporal Data Set of Glacier Outlines
  • Kathelijne Beenen, Netherlands Space Office - Space for Climate Adaptation and Food Security
  • Kristof Van Tricht, VITO - Improved crop monitoring by removing clouds from Sentinel-2 time series
  • Bruno Perrot, RHEA System Luxembourg - Towards an EO data analytics platform to address climate change challenges: the needs from an industrial player perspective
24 May 2023. 15:00 – 23:00 CEST. Earth Observation for Food Security Conference. By World Bank.

Join from the meeting link:

The online meeting was attended by 100 participants including by colleagues from the Joint Research Center (JRC) 
"There is a component of JRC support to Regional Centers of Excellence (RCoE) in the new AA between JRC and INTPA, related to Earth Observation (EO) (​​Thematic: Agro-ecological & sustainable agri-food systems (JRC.D4 and D5). ​​ 
Result 3.5: Better use of Earth Observation in coordination with the COPERNICUS programme. Identification, in collaboration with African Centers of excellence and with ongoing and future initiatives on the sector, of improved use cases of Earth Observation and launch of studies focusing on the use of Earth Observation data and tools for going beyond the productivity aspect of agriculture and focusing more on sustainability aspects. Starting point is the current activity on sustainable Cocoa (Ivory Coast, Ghana and Cameroon) and the ongoing feasibility study about mapping of different tree crops (Cocoa, Rubber, and others) and shading trees in agroforestry systems. Studies can include elements of ecosystems services, digitalization for agriculture and links with mapping of farming".


Scientists and program leaders from the EU Space Programme hosted a booth and Brainstorming Session to engage with colleagues, stakeholders and the public.
  • DEFIS, JRC, INTPA and the ECMWF participated.
  • Presentations focused on partnerships, state-of-the-art research and service evolutions.
  • Demonstrations by the Africa Knowledge Platform at their stand allowed the public to interact with geospatial tools built primarily on Copernicus and JRC data.