“Introduction of GNSS/EGNOS in Africa, Capacity Building for Satellite Navigation Services in Africa”

ASECNA (Agence pour la Sécurité de la Navigation Aérienne en Afrique et à Madagascar) in consortium with Egis, Pildo Labs and ESSP have been designated by the ACP Group (African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States) to implement the SAFIR Project, funded by the European Commission through the 10th EDF Intra-ACP envelope, with the objective of building capacity within African ACP countries for the future deployment of GNSS/EGNOS in the region. The fund is secured within the framework of the EU-Africa common Strategy adopted in 2005 and the Joint EU-Africa Partnership established in December 2007.

The SAFIR (Satellite navigation services for AFrican Region) project will last two years and will cover the set-up, staffing and operations of an EGNOS-Africa Joint Programme Office (JPO) with a proper regional participation of the various beneficiary countries. The missions of the future JPO will be to define the baseline and oversee the subsequent implementation phase for the specification and procurement of the development and deployment of GNSS/EGNOS in Africa.

The personnel of the JPO would include ten staff members recruited during the two years of SAFIR implementation phase through a clear selection criteria and procedures approved by the ACP Secretariat and the European Commission.
SAFIR will also set up and support a number of technical Working Sessions composed of regional stakeholders concerned with GNSS/EGNOS in sub-Saharan Africa, which will address all aspects of EGNOS-Africa system development and service provision in preparation of the infrastructure deployment phase, including system performance, applications, certification policy, industrial issues, maintenance, liability policy, governance structure …

The training of the JPO staff, together with the provision of a testing platform, is provided under a sister project which is undertaken by the UNESCO/ICTP (International Centre for Theoretical Physics) in Trieste (Italy).

Several studies of the implementation of SBAS (Satellite Based Augmentation System) services in Africa have been carried out and have indicated robust and undeniable social and economic benefits in many sectors (transport, land management, oil and mining industry …) and especially in aviation: safety improvement, better control coverage, opening of new routes, reduction of transport costs…

The SAFIR Project, housed in the ASECNA offices of Dakar, is run by an Implementation Team of three Key Experts who are supported by Short Term Experts from the consortium members, in charge of the Working Sessions facilitation.


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