13 August 2009. Issue 25 of the „ESPI Perspectives“ deals with the potential of GMES to help the international community to improve conditions in developing countries. It is addressed to the current and upcoming EU Council Presidencies in 2010, which are known to have an interest in the areas of regional cooperation and development.
As the world celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Space Age in 2007, one can observe that the digital-divide between developed and developing countries has widened. This leaves most needy populations unable to benefit from technological innovations made in Space applications, despite a recognised potential to promote sustainable development. This article seeks to demonstrate the usefulness of Space applications as strong supports to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It focuses on GMES for Africa which should be used as a starting point for Europe to meet the MDGs and promote capacity-building. Finally, it presents policy perspectives and recommendations for the current and the upcoming EU Council Presidencies in 2010 (Sweden, Spain and Belgium) for a more effective and thorough implementation of GMES for Africa and the MDGs in particular.
The author, Raphaelle Delmotte, will start a Master of Public Administration at the London School of Economics and Political Science in September 2009, London. From July to December 2008 she worked as a Research Intern at ESPI. Recently she spent four months as an intern at the Secretariat of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific Region (ESCAP) in Bangkok, where this issue of "ESPI Perspectives" was prepared.