Support to the air transport sector and satellite service applications

Implementation of SBAS in West Africa – mobilizing synergies towards the creation of the west and central Africa module-Abuja (11th to 13th April 2018)

“NASRDA DG/CO reiterates its commitment towards the improvement and diversification of the economy through the use of space science and technology, hence recognises the need for SBAS services for Africa”.

The SBAS workshop in Abuja Nigeria which gathered 23 participants1 was organised by JPO in conjunction with NASRDA and NAMA to bring together all relevant stakeholders and operators within ECOWAS and ECCAS with the intent of deploying Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS) services within the WACA region and ultimately the entire Africa Region.

The workshop opened with some remarks by Director of JPO, Mr Semou Diouf who thanked DG NASRDA and his team for making the event a reality. He said that the choice of Nigeria to host this event was justified by its vast opportunities to support pan-African new product development and innovation. He also mentioned the aim of the workshop was to create awareness and also to facilitate the decision making process in Western and Central Africa (WACA).

DG/CE NASRDA, Seidu Mohammed in his opening remarks reiterated NASRDA’s commitment towards the improvement and diversification of the economy through the use of space science and technology, hence recognising the need for SBAS services for Africa coverage. He implored all to participate actively to better understand Africa’s space asset, fashion out guidelines for implementation, while stressing the need for national capacity development.

Recalling the importance of international cooperation on satellite navigation between the African Union (AU) and European Union (EU), the meeting highlighted the commitments by the various heads of governments/states in the African Union (AU-STC TTIIET) in Lomé (recommendation No.7), on the 17th of March, 2017, relative to the implementation of continental SBAS CBA study and strategy and also the role of ECOWAS for facilitating the establishment of the regional West and Central Africa SBAS module.

The meeting also called for a meaningful collaboration among NAMA, NCAA, NIGCOMSAT, NASRDA and other stakeholders in sister states for harnessing the relevant capabilities and expertise in satellite communications, satellite navigation operations as it concerns civil aviation and other relevant areas of application of GNSS. Among other collaboration opportunities on GNSS capacity, JPO/ NASRDA and JPO/ARCSSTE-E were considered as relevant for the sub-region.

At the closing ceremony, ECOWAS, on behalf of the new Commissioner of Infrastructure conveyed his message of support and congratulated all participants for their fruitful contribution and resolutions reached, while urging more visibility to the ECOWAS member states. On his side, the JPO Director thanked all in particular NASRDA for making this workshop a reality, and stated that “we came with a lot of expectations, but we are going back with solutions”.

The NASRDA Director International Cooperation closed the meeting by thanking all for their useful contributions while looking forward to swift implementation of the resolutions from the workshop, which all in all will support the creation of the West Africa Module.