Joint Programme Office

The EGNOS in Africa support Programme – Joint Programme Office (JPO)

JPO was created under the SAFIR project in December 2013 as a regional structure responsible for coordinating the GNSS/EGNOS programmes in sub-Saharan Africa. The office is currently funded by the European Union and hosted by ASECNA in Dakar, Senegal as part of its contractual obligations with the European Union.

JPO Overall Objective

To contribute to the improvement of aviation safety in Africa, taking also into consideration non-aviation applications of satellite navigation, thus contributing to economic and social development in Africa, in line with AU Space Policy and Strategy, as well as the Agenda 2063.

JPO Specific Objective

To accelerate the adoption and development in Africa of Satellite-Based Augmentation Systems (SBAS) based on the European EGNOS programme, primarily for the benefit of the civil aviation sector in order to improve safety and flight efficiency at acceptable costs.

JPO Organisational Setup

JPO consists of a nominal team of ten experts, coming from different African countries and regions, competitively recruited. Its expertise encompasses various multi- disciplinary domains including the following:

  • GNSS systems
  • GNSS applications for Aviation
  • GNSS applications for Maritime and non-Aviation sectors
  • Legal and institutional aspects
  • Economic expertise
  • Certification and safety aspects
  • Programme management
  • General management

JPO Governance

The governance of the JPO is assured by a Steering Committee, made up of representatives from EC, AUC, AFCAC, ACAC, ICAO, RECs (EAC, COMESA, ECOWAS, ECCAS, IGAD, UEMOA, SADC), GSA and ASECNA.

Achievements at a glance

In addition to communication and visibility actions through publications of regular stakeholder newsletters, JPO oversees a number of initiatives aimed at promoting and communicating its mission and:

  • Established working arrangements with corresponding joint action plans through several MoUs with the RECs (EAC, IGAD, COMESA, ECCAS and regional organisations such as AATO, ACAC, CRASTE-LF, ARCESSTE-E and more to come.
  • Conducted nine capacity building workshops to date in Africa (Kigali, Dar-Es-Salam, Brazzaville, Kinshasa, Conakry, Abuja, Kampala, Dakar, and Nairobi).
  • Developed a roadmap for GNSS/EGNOS services implementation in Africa.
  • Support for the development of ‘Regional Modules’: technical and economic impact studies, potential markets, institutional studies. JPO also regularly conducts technical studies that encompass both ground and space segment systems, as well as applications in various sectors (both aviation and non-aviation).
  • Finalised a Preliminary Programme Proposal for the implementation of the Eastern Africa SBAS Module (Technical, Institutional, and Economic studies, roadmap) to support the decision-making process.
  • Conducted a survey on behalf of AUC for a survey on Satellite Navigation and Positioning in Africa (for African Space Agency); Contributes to the Continental CBA study and strategy led by AFCAC; regularly takes part on CFATA/SAATM fora, including NEPAD infrastructure planning.
  • Supported AUC and AFCAC on the institutionalisation process of the JPO.
  • Supported African SBAS programmes such as ASECNA-SBAS.
  • Support SBAS/EGNOS system development, led by the European GNSS Agency (GSA).
  • R&D: JPO acquired a SBAS Simulation Platform (Magic-SBAS) in 2017 to undertake various technical studies including on ionospheric characterisation.
  • Support to international standardisation and norms Working Groups. As an active member in such key international GNSS/SBAS fora as IWG, ESSP and ITU, JPO continues to raise awareness and advocate for GNSS/SBAS and related applications in Africa.