MESA uses space-based and in-situ data to enable an improved management of the environment and food security at continental, regional and national levels in Africa. MESA consolidates and widens the operational environmental services developed in the AMESD (African Monitoring of the Environment for Sustainable Development) programme, and is a contribution to the GMES-Africa initiative of the EU-Africa Joint Strategy.
The purpose of the MESA programme is to increase the capacity in information management, decision making and planning of African continental, regional and national institutions mandated for environment, climate and food security. This is being achieved by enhancing access to reliable, timely and accurate land, marine and climate data and information for Africa. MESA is exploiting Earth Observation (EO) data and technologies to promote socio-economic progress towardsachieving the Millennium Development Goals.
The MESA program was proposed through the Ouagadougou Declaration signed in September 2010 by the African Union Commission, the ACP Secretariat and the African Regional Economic Communities. The aim of the programme is to ensure continuity of past investments on the use of Earth Observation data in Africa (e.g. PUMA and AMESD) and to provide an initial contribution to the GMES and Africa Initiative, which was called upon through the Maputo Declaration in October 2006 and included in the Joint EU-Africa Strategy as of December 2007.
Beneficiary Countries of MESA program are 48 ACP countries of five African Regions, namely CEMAC, ECOWAS, IGAD, IOC and SADC. The contracting authority of MESA is the African Union Commission. The project implementation is supported by a Consortium led by Hulla & Co Human Dynamics KG.
Funding is obtained from the 10th EDF of the European Union, with a budget of 37 million Euros. Timeframe of implementation is from 2013 to 2017. The EU and its Member States together remains the biggest aid donor to Africa. This is a token of their commitment to furthering the MDGs and other development objectives with their African partners; EUR 20.5 billion was disbursed to the continent in 2009. Official Development Aid (ODA) to Sub- Saharan Africa grew by EUR 2.7 billion since 2004, meaning that 26% of the total ODA increase in real terms has been allocated to the African continent. Of the European Commission's external aid funds in 2009, some 40 percent went to Africa.
In 2009, Africa also became the biggest recipient of both combined EU trade-related assistance and aid for trade. The 2009 data also point to a strong increase in aid for trade to the African, Caribbean and Pacific States, at EUR3.6 billion.