First JPO steering committee meeting held in Dakar
The first meeting of the Steering Committee of the Action ‘Support to the Joint Programme Office’ was held on 14 July 2016, at the brand new ASECNA high-tech boardroom in Dakar, Senegal. Co-chaired by the AUC and EC, the meeting brought together 19 participants, including Representatives and Senior Officials of the Regional Economic Communities5 of Africa and key stakeholder organisations such as AFCAC and ICAO.
Recalling the key role of the Steering Committee in providing policy and strategic guidance for the implementation and monitoring of the Action within ‘Support to EGNOS in Africa Programme’, the Chairperson, Mr Alessandro ARGIOLAS, a Programme Manager for Infrastructure at the EC Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development, stressed the importance of aviation safety in Africa and drew the attention of the audience to the Pan-African Programme as one of the main financial instruments of the EU for the implementation of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES).The Action ‘Support to the Joint Programme Office (JPO)’ started in March 2016 as a new autonomous project, following the completion of the ACP/EC framework Programme ‘Support to the Air Transport and Satellite Services Applications in Africa’ (SAFIR)’ in December 2015. The Action is co-funded by the European Commission and ASECNA.
Looking at the overall objectives of the Action, it will mainly contribute to the improvement of aviation safety in Africa in addition to proven benefits in non-aviation applications, which will globally support economic and social development in Africa. More precisely, the specific objective of the Action is to accelerate the adoption and development in Africa of satellite based augmentation systems based on European technology.
Joining words with actions, the Steering Committee, after reviewing and adopting its Terms of Reference, conducted a state of play of the Joint Programme Office which has the responsibility for technical management of the project and the implementation of activities according to the defined work programme. Typical recommendations include the need for continued support to JPO from its stakeholders in order to fulfil its mandate in its various challenging activities. Moreover, countries should mobilise behind the actions already undertaken by the RECs and preparations should be made for the forthcoming Continental Aviation Workshop planned in 2017 to acknowledge the past achievements and provide recommendations on the way forward, including institutionalisation issues.
The hosting of the meeting in Dakar provided the participants with an opportunity to visit the JPO current office and the new building under construction, which will host the JPO and AFI Fight Planning Procedures (AFI-FPP), before saying farewell.