Final report inventory africa eo companies

Page 1

Copernicus User Uptake

Inventory of Private Sector Companies in Earth Observation and Geospatial Fields in Africa

Draft Final Report May 2016

A report for the European Commission, prepared by AARSE and EARSC, with support from SpaceTec Partners:


This study has been funded by the EUROPEAN COMMISSION December 2015 – April 2016

This study was carried out for the European Commission by:

SpaceTec Partners Avenue Louise 66 1050 Brussels Belgium

info@spacetecpartners.eu www.spacetecpartners.eu

AARSE 54 Motor Street Westdene Johannesburg Gauteng, 2092 Rep. of South Africa

www.africanremotesensing.org tsehaie.woldai@africanremotesensing.org EARSC 26, Rue Beranger 1190 Brussels Belgium info@earsc.org www.earsc.org

DISCLAIMER The information and views set out in this publication are those of the authors of AARSE and EARSC and do not necessarily reflect

the official opinion of the Commission. The Commission does not guarantee the accuracy of the data included in this study. Neither the Commission nor any person acting on the Commission’s behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.


TABLE OF CONTENTS TABLE OF CONTENTS ........................................................................................................ 3 TABLE OF FIGURES ............................................................................................................ 5 TABLE OF TABLES .............................................................................................................. 6

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ...................................................................................................... 7 ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS .................................................................................. 12 1.

INTRODUCTION ....................................................................................................... 13

3.

INDUSTRIAL LANDSCAPE......................................................................................... 23

4.

EMPLOYMENT ......................................................................................................... 30

5.

FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE ..................................................................................... 35

6.

MARKET STRUCTURE .............................................................................................. 41

2.

METHODOLOGY AND RESPONSES .......................................................................... 15

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7.

SUPPLIER STRUCTURE AND DATA ........................................................................... 47

8.

CAPACITY-BUILDING ............................................................................................... 52

9.

STRATEGIC ISSUES................................................................................................... 55

10. COPERNICUS AND GMES & AFRICA ........................................................................ 66

11. 11. GEO AND AFRIGEOSS ........................................................................................ 72

12. MAIN ISSUES TO BE ADDRESSED IN THE NEAR FUTURE......................................... 73 13. CONCLUSIONS ......................................................................................................... 76 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ................................................................................................... 77 ANNEX 1: GLOSSARY/ DEFINITIONS ................................................................................ 78

ANNEX 2: PROFILES EARSC AND AARSE .......................................................................... 82 REFERENCES .................................................................................................................... 83 INVENTORY OF PRIVATE SECTOR COMPANIES IN EARTH OBSERVATION AND GEOSPATIAL FIELDS IN AFRICA

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TABLE OF FIGURES Figure 1: Number of companies contacted – number of companies that responded ... 19 Figure 2: Geographical distribution of respondents....................................................... 23

Figure 3: Number of companies per African sub-region ................................................ 25

Figure 4: Number of companies formed per year .......................................................... 26

Figure 5: Development of private sector companies ..................................................... 27 Figure 6: Company ownership ....................................................................................... 28

Figure 7: Responses on EO .............................................................................................. 29

Figure 8: Total no. of employees per responding company ........................................... 30 Figure 9: Employment per country ................................................................................. 31

Figure 10: Breakdown of employees per sub-region including proportion of EO related employees ............................................................................................................... 31 Figure 11: Ratio total and EO related employment ........................................................ 32 Figure 12: Employment change ...................................................................................... 33

Figure 13: Employment expectations ............................................................................. 34

Figure 14: Revenue bands in 2015.................................................................................. 35 Figure 15: Regional revenue bands from EO related business in 2015 .......................... 36 Figure 16: Revenue change ............................................................................................. 37

Figure 17: Geographic origin of revenues ...................................................................... 38

Figure 18: Revenue expectations.................................................................................... 39 Figure 19: Spread of EO related business ....................................................................... 41 Figure 20: Relevant market segments ............................................................................ 43 Figure 21: Customers ...................................................................................................... 44

Figure 22: Business relations with other companies ...................................................... 45 Figure 23: Free Data........................................................................................................ 47

Figure 24: Commercial Data ........................................................................................... 48 Figure 25: Data Expenditure ........................................................................................... 49

Figure 26: African satellites ............................................................................................ 51 Figure 27: Percentage of companies providing training................................................. 52

Figure 28: Target groups of training ............................................................................... 53

Figure 29: Training subjects ............................................................................................ 54 Figure 30: Impacts on growth ......................................................................................... 56 Figure 31: Interest in trade association .......................................................................... 60

Figure 32: Interest in AARSE ........................................................................................... 61 Figure 33: Interest in EARSC ........................................................................................... 62

Figure 34: Company expectations .................................................................................. 63 INVENTORY OF PRIVATE SECTOR COMPANIES IN EARTH OBSERVATION AND GEOSPATIAL FIELDS IN AFRICA

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Figure 35: Copernicus ..................................................................................................... 66

Figure 36: Copernicus Sentinels...................................................................................... 67 Figure 37: GMES and Africa ............................................................................................ 68

Figure 38: GMES & Africa services .................................................................................. 70

Figure 39: GEO/ AfriGEOSS ............................................................................................. 72

TABLE OF TABLES Table 1: Number of responses and percentages of represented countries ................... 24 Table 2: Ratio total and EO related employment ........................................................... 32 Table 3: Employment expectations ................................................................................ 34

Table 4: Revenue bands in 2015 ..................................................................................... 36

Table 5: Revenue change ................................................................................................ 37

Table 6: Geographic origin of revenues .......................................................................... 38 Table 7: Revenue expectations ....................................................................................... 40 Table 8: Spread of EO related business .......................................................................... 42 Table 9: Relevant market segments ............................................................................... 43 Table 10: Customers ....................................................................................................... 44

Table 11: Business relations with other companies ....................................................... 46

Table 12: Free Data ......................................................................................................... 48

Table 13: Commercial Data............................................................................................. 49 Table 14: Data Expenditure ............................................................................................ 50 Table 15: African satellites .............................................................................................. 51 Table 16: Percentage of companies providing training .................................................. 52

Table 17: Target groups of training ................................................................................ 53 Table 18: Training subjects ............................................................................................. 54 Table 19: Impacts on growth .......................................................................................... 57

Table 20: Interest in trade association ........................................................................... 60 Table 21: Interest in AARSE ............................................................................................ 61

Table 22: Interest in EARSC ............................................................................................. 62 Table 23: Company expectations.................................................................................... 64

Table 24: Copernicus....................................................................................................... 66

Table 25: Copernicus Sentinels ....................................................................................... 67

Table 26: GMES and Africa.............................................................................................. 68 Table 27: GMES & Africa services ................................................................................... 70 Table 28: GEO/ AfriGEOSS .............................................................................................. 72

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Background and Objectives

The African private sector involved in remote sensing and geospatial technology and addressing scientific, practical and policy aspects has considerably grown over the past

20 years, but there is little information allowing to understand how companies1 operate and what their potential is.

The purpose of the study was therefore to carry out a survey in order to derive a detailed

inventory of African private sectors companies working in the field of Earth Observation (EO) and Geospatial information sciences.

In the context to be established by the Cooperation Agreement between the European Commission (EC) and the African Union Commission (AUC) in the area of data access and

use of Sentinel data of the Copernicus programme, and for achieving the above objective in time for the start of the implementation of GMES & Africa under PanAF in 2016, the involvement of the relevant associations in Europe and Africa – the European Association of Remote Sensing Companies (EARSC) and African Association of Remote Sensing of the Environment (AARSE) was requested.

EARSC’ methodology for establishing inventories in Europe and using it for market

development has been matched with AARSE’s access to networks across the African continent to gather the required information. AARSE and EARSC have closely cooperated, in the framework of their Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), for the

analysis and presentation of data, thus creating synergy with activities currently undertaken by EARSC to expand the international scope of its EO industry surveys. Activities & Methodology

Database of companies to survey 

Information was derived from internet resources; AARSE conference attendance

lists, membership data, Executive Council and Advisory Board members; EARSC data on African companies; conference attendance lists from the United Nations-

Economic Commission for Africa (UN-ECA); other African contacts as well as from some respondent companies themselves.

1

Refer to Annex 1 (Glossary) for definitions

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Questionnaire 

The questionnaire previously developed by EARSC for their European surveys was

jointly amended and adapted to suit the reality of African companies as well as specific information interests. Defined indicators were used in order to gain insight into the business of African private sector companies which would allow for an initial

assessment of state and health, potential and needs of the sector; to develop an

understanding of access to and use of satellite data; to find out about awareness of Copernicus, GMES & Africa and GEO/ AfriGEOSS; as well as to identify potential areas of cooperation between African and European EO companies and organisations. Data Gathering 

The on-line survey was conducted over two months (launched 19 February/ closed

22 April 2016). 229 companies - 172 companies in English speaking Africa and 57 companies in French speaking Africa - were contacted with the bi-lingual

questionnaire (English and French). A total of 78 companies responded, representing 

21 African countries.

A total of 78 valid company (See Annex 1: Glossary/Definitions) responses were

received (60 English and 18 French speaking). That is a response rate of 34% - around

the same rate, or even slightly higher than the rates EARSC is experiencing in its European industry surveys. Key survey findings

Industrial Landscape 

The formation of new companies over the last 25 years and their development,

clearly shows that the African private sector has grown continuously. Particularly,

since the early 1990s the private industry has been picking up. Incorporation of new    

companies has been strongest in the last 15 years.

More than 90 % of respondents companies are privately owned African SMEs. That shows that the survey targeted the right companies.

The sector has grown in terms of both employment and revenues.

By and large, companies are optimistic about the near future and seem to have trust in continued growth both in terms of revenues and employment.

96 % of respondent companies confirmed working with EO / satellite data or derived products. Again, this shows that the right companies were identified for the survey.

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Market Structure 

Companies primarily provide downstream / GIS services (84%), consultancy (75%)

Companies are primarily active on national level (75%).

and value-adding services using satellite data to create products (64%).

The three most important market segments in which companies do business are Local and regional planning (66%); Environmental, pollution, climate (59%); and Agriculture (51%).

The main client of respondent companies is the public sector (53%) but also private companies (34%).

EO Data 

Companies use free Landsat data (67%), Sentinels data (25%) and free data from

Companies buy data primarily from European (40%) and US satellites (40%).

 

multiple sources (40%).

Availability and accessibility of free data is observed as essential for strengthening the industry.

58% of respondent companies are NOT aware of the existence and availability of free and open Sentinel data. Only 35% of companies indicate being aware of free Sentinel data and planning to use them.

Barriers to Growth 

The three most significant barriers to growth are perceived to be: Customers recognising benefits, but lacking budgets; lack of development funding; cost of EO data.

In terms of governmental and private sector support, the three most significant

obstacles to growth are seen in: lack of development funding; lack of venture capital; unfavourable policy and legal provisions.

Networking 

Companies have working relationships primarily with other African companies

64 % of respondent companies indicate having working relations with European

(70%).

companies.

A majority of companies (60%) is interested in the development of a trade association at national and/ or continental levels.

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There is great interest in closer cooperation with European companies (partnerships,

joint projects); in training (e. g. in EO business management) and mentoring for

young start-ups; in information exchange (e.g. an operational real-time platform to share ideas, career opportunities and facilitate collaboration on projects) and in workshops (e. g. methodologies, scientific aspects). COPERNICUS 

51% of respondent companies indicate to have NEVER heard about Copernicus.

GMES & Africa 

67% of respondent companies are NOT aware of the GMES & Africa initiative.

However, companies show great interest in the envisaged services of the initiative. Six thematic areas of GMES & Africa are considered relevant for their current

business by more than 50% of respondents. This ties in with the market segments companies are primarily operating in. Deliverables 

  

Results of the survey are Web implemented in a dedicated section of the AARSE

website http://www.africanremotesensing.org/ - giving location, company name, website and contact of surveyed companies. A

summary

report

of

survey

findings

is

published

on

AARSE

http://www.africanremotesensing.org/ and EARSC http://earsc.org/ websites.

An inventory of respondent African EO companies (in Excel) is delivered to EC – for internal Commission use only.

Beyond the present contract, presentation of survey findings at a business forum at

AARSE 2016 International Conference on “Our Earth, Our Heritage: Harnessing Geospatial Technologies for Sustainable Development in Africa”, Kampala/ Uganda in Oct. 2016 (http://aarse2016.org/) is being envisaged with the scope to facilitate

the creation of an Association of African Remote Sensing Companies and discuss

identified interests in enhanced cooperation between African and European companies.

Conclusions and Recommendations 

AARSE and EARSC should follow up on findings of the present survey; address possible reasons for low company response rate, particularly in some African countries and regions for the purpose of further surveys; and strive to cover regions

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(Central and Portuguese speaking Africa) which have not been fully engaged in the 

  

 

present survey due to the lack of any useable list of companies.

Widely disseminate the publication of survey results, depict the landscape of African

companies on an accessible platform, and stimulate more companies to appear on the map.

Facilitate and support the interest of African companies in the establishment of a trade association.

Facilitate connectivity between African private sector and international actors.

There seems to be a particular need for the AUC to inform the African private sector

about major political developments on the continent, namely the African Space Policy & Strategy, and major programmes such as GMES & Africa.

The AUC should assume its coordinating role as spelled out in the African Space Policy.

As one of the global players in space (Copernicus/ Sentinels), the EC would need to strengthen its outreach and dissemination efforts on Copernicus services and Sentinels data to the African EO private sector.

Apparently GEO/ AfriGEOSS is not perceived relevant by the African private EO sector. AfriGEOSS should step up activities to better inform the private sector and

demonstrate what companies would gain from the coordinating efforts of AfriGEOSS.

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ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS Acronym

Description

AARSE

African Association of Remote Sensing of the Environment

EARSC

European Association of Remote Sensing Companies

EO

Earth Observation

AUC

African Union Commission Copernicus Copernicus is the world’s largest single earth observation programme directed by the European Commission in partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA) EC

Eomag

European Commission

EO magazine - Communications and tools which EARSC uses to inform and exchange with their members as well as other stakeholders.

ESRI

Environmental Systems Research Institute - an international supplier of Geographic Information System (GIS) software, web GIS and geodatabase management applications

GI

Geo Information

GEO GIS

Global Group on Earth Observations Geographic Information Systems

GMES

Global Monitoring Environment and Security

ITC

Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation of the University of Twente, the Netherlands

PanAF

Pan-African Programme to support GMES & Africa

UAV

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

GPS

OAU RS

Global Positioning System

Organisation of the African Union Remote Sensing

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1. INTRODUCTION Background

As background to the study this document reports on, one could mention the recent developments of the GMES & Africa initiative, bi-lateral cooperation R & D projects and other initiatives.

In the context of the EU-Africa cooperation in Space, the 4th Africa-EU Summit (Brussels,

April 2014) approved the implementation of GMES & Africa. The 6th EU-Africa Space

Troika meeting, held in Brussels 20 April 2015, agreed to adopt the GMES & Africa Roadmap and to convene a stakeholder workshop to launch the implementation process for the (a) Long-Term Management of Natural Resources, (b) Marine and Coastal Areas, (c) Water Resources Management thematic areas under the Pan African

Programme. In particular, the final communiquĂŠ calls upon the application of approaches developed in Copernicus for the implementation of GMES & Africa, notably

by adopting a free and open data policy, by focusing on operational services and by involving the private sector in the services development.

The African private sector involved in remote sensing and geospatial technology to address scientific, practical and policy aspects has grown over the past 20 years. Yet to

date there was no comprehensive database available to fully understand how

companies2 operate. It is therefore difficult to harness their expertise and to assess their state and health.

However, if Africa is to truly benefit from the EU-Africa cooperation on GMES & Africa, it is essential that the African private sector working in the Earth Observation (EO) and Geospatial fields be involved in the programme right from the beginning. Objective

The purpose of the study was therefore to establish a comprehensive and detailed inventory of African private sectors companies working in the Earth Observation (EO) and Geospatial information sciences.

2

Refer to Annex 1 (Glossary) for definitions

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Implementation

In the context to be established by the Cooperation Agreement between the European Commission (EC) and the African Union Commission (AUC) in the area of data access and

use of Sentinel data of the Copernicus programme, and for achieving the above objective in time for the start of the implementation of GMES & Africa under the PanAF

in 2016, it was recommended to call on the services of the relevant associations in Europe and Africa – the European Association of Remote Sensing Companies (EARSC) and African Association of Re-mote Sensing of the Environment (AARSE).

EARSC’ proven methodology for establishing inventories in Europe and using it for market development has been matched with AARSE’s access to networks across the

African continent to gather the required information on private sector companies.

AARSE and EARSC have closely cooperated, in the framework of their Memorandum of Understanding signed in July 2015, for the analysis and presentation of data, thus creating synergy with efforts currently made by EARSC to expand the international scope of surveying the EO industry.

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2. METHODOLOGY AND RESPONSES Overview

At its Executive Council meeting in October 2014, AARSE had decided to urgently

conduct an Africa-wide systematic survey on private sector companies engaged in EO and geospatial information sciences, with the following aims: 

Find out who is who, understand what companies do, what data they use, how they

Gain more knowledge of the sector in the light of new programmes (e.g. GMES &

operate and what their financial status and potential is;

Africa, the AU-EU space dialogue, Copernicus, etc.) and stimulate better organising of the private sector;

Gather knowledge on employment creation in the sector;

Get an overview of the market.

For AARSE as a Pan-African scientific organisation, to provide more effective and efficient services to the African private sector.

Together with EARSC, the following specific objectives of mutual interest were set for conducting of the survey: 

Gain insight into the business of African private sector companies which allows for

Compile an inventory of the African EO industry (‘phone book’, searchable data base

 

an initial assessment of their state and health, potential and needs; of companies);

Develop an understanding of access to and use of satellite data (African and as well as European Sentinel data, data from other sources) by African EO companies;

Identify potential areas of cooperation between African and European EO companies by including respective questions in the questionnaire.

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Database of companies

Data were taken from internet resources like company websites and various business directories; AARSE conference attendance lists from 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014

and AARSE’s data base of private sector members; EARSC database of African

companies; conference attendance lists provided by the United Nations-Economic Commission for Africa (UN-ECA); AARSE Executive Council and Advisory Board members.

Some additional data were also forwarded by personal African contacts and colleagues as well as some respondent companies themselves.

A number of factors posed serious challenges to setting up a somewhat comprehensive data base of companies: 

Many websites do not provide senior management information (or any significant

Many companies seem to operate locally based on local networks and do not have

staff information) nor email addresses. Often only contact forms are provided.

websites at all. Some do have websites but these are not updated or are not providing enough information to judge on the nature of business.

Information gathered from the internet was sometimes outdated; at times, companies did no longer exist or had changed their names.

21 out of 54 African countries are represented in the survey (see 2.4 below). In addition to those represented, the study team had identified companies engaged in

EO and geospatial information sciences also in Algeria (a major player in Space technology in Africa), Namibia, Mozambique, Guinea and Cote d'Ivoire, but were unable

to get any response. Despite calls through various channels (see below), the study team had to leave out Portuguese-speaking Africa (Angola, Mozambique) as it was not able to obtain reliable contacts. It could be assumed however that there are local EO/ Geospatial services companies engaged in business with large multi-national players in

the extractive industries in these countries. The same may be true for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Central African Republic (CAR), Liberia and Sierra Leone. The study team does know from personal contacts that some African geologists and geophysicists are thriving in supplying expert services to international extractive

industry players (e. g. China, Japan, Russia and Australia). But getting confirmed information was not possible at this stage.

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Survey Questionnaires

Although many languages are spoken in Africa, the study team believed that a

questionnaire in English and French – covering the two largest language areas in Africa,

would be sufficient to start with. Moreover, it is believed that respondents of companies operating in the EO sector would be fluent enough in either of these two languages to

answer the questionnaire even if the company would be based in an Arab or Portuguese speaking country.

The questionnaire previously developed by EARSC for their European surveys was jointly

amended and adapted to suit the reality of African companies as well as specific

information interests (e.g. including questions on the use of African satellite data, awareness and use of Copernicus services and Sentinel satellite data, awareness of GMES & Africa and GEO/ AfriGEOSS). Selected indicators were used to formulate the questionnaire. By doing so the study team was confident of being able to identify the most appropriate questions and to ensure that all issues would be addressed. Questions were revisited several times before finalising the questionnaire.

The study team also reviewed the questionnaire in terms of length and time required to

fill. Questions found to be too complicated, too demanding or sensitive to answer, were dropped.

Once the questionnaire was finalised a draft copy was sent to AARSE Executive Council

members and subsequently to a few private companies in Africa representing four regions of Africa (East, North, South and West Africa) for their assessment.

DG Grow was also given the opportunity to review the questionnaire and provide feedback before the survey was launched.

Functionality and correct settings of the questionnaire in Survey Monkey software was

then tested by having three private companies as well as AARSE Regional Councillors complete the form online and provide feed-back before invitations via general collectors were sent out.

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Data Gathering

The survey of the African EO industry was conducted using the tested methodology and

web-based infrastructure established by EARSC for their surveys in 2012/2013 and 2015, mapping the state and health of the European EO services industry. The survey was

launched 19 Feb. 2016 and stayed open till 22 April 2016. In the course of these two months, additional contact addresses were included based on further information received from AARSE resource persons in Eastern, West and North Africa. Repeated reminders were sent to all non-respondents.

172 companies in English speaking Africa and 57 companies in French speaking Africa were contacted with the online questionnaire. A total of 78 companies replied

representing 21 countries. As mentioned above, the questionnaire was sent also to companies in several other countries (Mozambique, Namibia, Ivory Coast and Guinea)

not represented in Figure 1. Figure 1 indicates how many companies per represented

country were approached and how many responded. That is a response rate of 34% around the same rate, or even slightly higher as EARSC used to get in European company

surveys. The lack of response from some of the companies to which the survey was sent, may be attributed to:      

Possibly wrong email addresses being used;

Respondents not having any EO related activities, perhaps being in the communication, navigation or other business sectors; Addressed companies having ceased to exist;

Poor broadband connections in some countries; Mails ending in spam folders;

Respondents’ fatigue, being weary of all sorts of questionnaires they are asked to fill but on which they don’t get feed-back nor are consulted on the outcome.

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Figure 1: Number of companies contacted – number of companies that responded

Calls on companies to participate in the survey were published on the websites of AARSE and EARSC, through the AARSE monthly newsletter and EARSC quarterly eomag magazine and through the ITC alumni network (University of Twente).

The study team also tried to access additional companies by filling contact forms provided on their respective websites. However, this attempt was not successful at all.

Contacts in Egypt, the Maghreb countries and in West Africa were particularly hard to mobilise for response. Only via repeated intervention by AARSE Councillors and local

contacts were some more companies, contacted earlier by online invitation or by personal mail, eventually made to respond to the survey questionnaire.

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Data Analysis

As the web-based infrastructure used (Survey Monkey) did not allow a truly bi-lingual

survey, two surveys (English and French) had to be created resulting in separate data sets. Results were then combined manually to obtain an overall comprehensive set of data for the analysis.

The term private industry company does not seem to be well understood across Africa. The study team did receive some responses from public institutions which were then excluded from survey results. Confusion of public and private sectors was also evident

from some databases received from African colleagues in which public institutions such as universities, research centres and government bodies figure as private sector. The

same goes for the reviewed conference attendance lists. There were exceptions to this though. In the case of Madagascar for example, a private company seems indeed to function within a public body. The study team believes that the lack of awareness for the difference between private and public is part of the problem to better recognise and develop the private sector in Africa3.

3

Note that this is not unusual. Defining the difference between private companies and public organisations acting

commercially can sometimes be very difficult. Even the European Commission finds this a difficult distinction to make.

In determining status of prospective members, EARSC tries to look behind the ownership and at the way a “company� operates. If the company makes a profit without recourse to a non-competed grant, then they are considered to be a private company irrespective if they are state-owned. EARSC definition is that they are a company if they are able to demonstrate a sustainable business plan without recourse to state grants. It is not perfect but is workable.

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Quality of responses

96 % of responding companies indicated to work with EO / satellite data or derived products.

Out of the total number of 78 responses 11 were in-complete. There might be several reasons to this: 

Those companies that did not work with EO/ satellite data or derived products submitted their answers on basic company data but stopped when they got to further EO related questions in the questionnaire. They might have felt

uncomfortable to answer questions outside their field of expertise.

The study team came to realise that some companies which submitted an incomplete questionnaire, stopped at mandatory question 10: “Geographic origin of

revenues: Roughly, what percentage of your revenues comes from where? The total needs to amount to 100. Please enter numbers without the "%" symbol”. These 

companies might not have been willing to disclose their revenues.

Some companies however, did indeed complete the survey after being reassured that their sensitive data would not be revealed to third parties.

Still, some organisations responded even though they were clearly not meeting target group criteria. The study team assumes that they found the survey interesting for two

reasons: 1) they read the objectives of the questionnaire and wanted to be part of it, and 2) it could be that they saw an opportunity to diversify in future.

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Summary and Comments

General inventories of organisations involved in remote sensing applications are

available for some countries in sub-Saharan Africa. A survey targeting the African private sector involved in EO and geospatial sciences specifically, however, has never been done

before. The current survey is the first of its kind in the continent. It is the goal of AARSE

and EARSC to update this survey on a regular basis; some of the present questions were asked with this objective in mind, namely to be able to see trends as a result of future surveys.

The study team kept the number of questions to a reasonable number to avoid

saturating potential responders. In consequence, questions on internal practices such

as quality management systems, specification of products and testing of products, new

products and customers, or companies’ capture of new business were not asked. Nor

did the survey ask about research and development (R&D) issues such as whether internally or externally funded, products under development or development time. These and other questions could be considered for future surveys. 

  

Results of the survey are Web implemented in a dedicated section of the AARSE website http://www.africanremotesensing.org/ - giving location, company name, website and contact of surveyed companies. Results

summary

report

of

survey

findings

is

published

on

AARSE

http://www.africanremotesensing.org/ and EARSC http://earsc.org/ websites.

An inventory of respondent African EO companies (in Excel) is delivered to EC – for internal Commission use only.

Beyond the present contract, presentation of survey findings at a business forum at AARSE 2016 International Conference on “Our Earth, Our Heritage: Harnessing

Geospatial Technologies for Sustainable Development in Africa”, Kampala/ Uganda

in Oct. 2016 (http://aarse2016.org/) is being envisaged with the scope to facilitate the creation of an Association of African Remote Sensing Companies and discuss interests in enhanced cooperation between African and European companies.

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3.

INDUSTRIAL LANDSCAPE Total number of companies

The survey questionnaire was sent to 229 companies, representing 28 out of 54 countries in Africa.

The study team received a total of 78 valid company responses (34%) - 60 English speaking and 18 French speaking. 51 English speaking respondents filled the entire

questionnaire; 9 English speaking respondents filled only the part on company data in the questionnaire. 16 French speaking respondents filled the entire questionnaire while 2 only filled the part on company data.

Geographical distribution of companies

Fig. 2 displays the geographical distribution of respondent companies. Table 1 below lists the percentage of respective national responses in the surveyed sample.

Figure 2: Geographical distribution of respondents

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Country

Botswana

Burkina Faso

Responses 3

%

3.8 %

6

7.7 %

1

1.3 %

1

1.3 %

Kenya

11

14.1 %

Mali

1

1.3 %

Nigeria

10

12.8 %

Senegal

4

5.1 %

Egypt

3

Ethiopia

5

Eritrea Gabon Ghana

Madagascar Morocco Rwanda

3

2

4

1

3.8 %

6.4 %

3.8 %

2.6 %

5.1 %

1.3 %

South Africa

13

16.7 %

Tanzania

1

1.3 %

Uganda

2

2.6 %

3

3.8 %

Sudan

Tunisia

Zambia

Zimbabwe

1

1

2

1.3 %

1.3 %

2.6 %

Table 1: Number of responses and percentages of represented countries

Around 50% of the responses are coming from four countries, namely South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria and Ethiopia. The study team assumes the following reasons could have played a role for the establishment of private companies in these countries:   

Thriving of private sector is encouraged at government level;

A rapidly increasing EO user community, and a new breed of remote sensing experts trained locally and abroad, who see opportunities for going private.

Local presence of several UN-bodies, international service providing organisations

such as ESRI, EO related international companies (e.g., in photogrammetry, remote sensing, image processing, etc.) including foreign based hardware and software firms partnering or using the services of local expertise to expand in the African

market; and

Capacity building centres and facilities of which private companies can make use.

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To get an overview of regional representation of respondents, companies have been grouped per African sub-region in Figure 3 below4.

Figure 3: Number of companies per African sub-region

4 AU Member States are divided into five geographic regions. The groups were defined by the OAU in 1976 (CM/Res.464QCXVI).

Northern Africa (Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Mauritania, Sahrawi Republic, Tunisia).

Western Africa (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo).

Central Africa (Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, DR Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, São Tomé and Príncipe)

Eastern Africa (Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, UR of Tanzania.

Southern Africa (Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

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Age of companies

The number of respondent companies formed/ registered in a given year is shown in Figure 4. An overview of industrial development is given in Figure 5 below.

No. of companies incorporated

8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0

1885

1983

1992

1995

1998

2001

2004

2007

2010

2013

2016

Figure 4: Number of companies formed per year

The survey shows a continuously growing private sector in Africa. Particularly, up from

the early 1990s the private industry has been picking up. Development of new companies is strongest in the last 15 years. An In Depth Analysis of Africa’s Economic Growth by the European Parliamentary Research Service (Ionel Zamfir, 2016) suggests

that most countries in Africa are experiencing sustained economic growth, with growth rates often exceeding 5% per year during this period. A buoyant services sector driven by internal demand has been the fastest growing sector of African economies in many

cases. In the last three years however, the general economic context has changed turning less favourable, with growth slowing down especially in oil and mineral

exporting countries. The fall away of the private sector in the last 2 to 3 years therefore, could most probably be attributed to this downfall in economic growth. According to

Zamfir (2016), growth is expected to continue at a significant – even if slower – rate in many African countries.

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No. of Private Sector Companies

60 50 40 30 20 10

0

Pre-1979

1980-1990

1991-2000

2001-2016

Figure 5: Development of private sector companies

The years from 2000 to the present are crucial for the development of EO in Africa. Advancements in Information Systems/Information Technology (IS/IT) have made it possible to access information that was once unthinkable to acquire. A huge amount of

geographical data was made available, attributable to the growing of a number of related public and private institutions in many parts of the continent.

Several technological innovations have contributed to the development of EO related activities in Africa:  

The increase in spectral and spatial resolution of data delivered by newly developed

earth orbiting sensors in Europe, the US and other countries provides more costeffective access to framework data and mapping bases.

Increased affordability of personal computers and microelectronic equipment as well as telecommunication services giving access to the internet at least in some

parts of Africa, have paved and are paving the way for an avalanche of information in Africa - for scientific research; for broader society, and for planning and policy 

purposes.

Google Earth has become a tool for grassroots mobilisation, environmental protection and disaster response. The tool has become a vital instrument for nonprofit and public benefit organisations, private services industries in EO and

geospatial sciences to visually tell their stories, locate their position and appreciate 

their environment.

A number of EO and geospatial-specific programmes coming from the US, Europe,

Japan and other major EO players have stimulated needs for proactive capacity development in EO and geospatial technologies in Africa.

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In the last 10 years, four African countries (Algeria, Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa)

have built mini-satellites, moving the continent out of the class of being ‘sensed’ to ‘sensing’. At the same time, a continent-wide, real-time EO infrastructure has been developed. Across Africa there are now more than twenty national space agencies

(also referred to as national remote sensing agencies), as well as regional centres and over 45 universities dedicated to building expertise in EO technologies.

With technological advancement on the continent being steady, a growing EO market,

an increasing EO user community, a breed of enterprising RS experts and a dynamic science network (that AARSE has helped to foster) can be seen.

The study team believe these developments have created space and impetus for the growth of the African private EO sector.

Company ownership

In the first part of the questionnaire intended to gather basic data, companies were asked to indicate their legal status. As expected, more than 92 % of respondent

companies are privately owned African SMEs (Figure 6). This indicates that the right

companies were identified for the survey. 3 (3.8%) companies are subsidiaries of another company registered in the same country, and 2 are subsidiaries of a company registered in another African country. One respondent is a publically traded company.

The survey was also sent out to a number of companies that were assumed to be larger companies (of European and North American parentage) with subsidiaries in an African country; however, none but one of these responded.

Figure 6: Company ownership INVENTORY OF PRIVATE SECTOR COMPANIES IN EARTH OBSERVATION AND GEOSPATIAL FIELDS IN AFRICA

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Companies working with EO / satellite data or derived products

One of the most important questions in gathering basic company data was, of course, to find out whether companies actually do any work with EO/ satellite data or derived

products. In the study team’s definition that includes acquisition of remote sensing data, maintenance and archiving, dissemination and distribution, analysis and interpretation,

integration of interpreted data with other spatial data and models, as well as training in

all of these aspects. As shown in Figure 7, 96 % of responding companies (75 out of 78)

confirmed that they indeed work with EO / satellite data or derived products. 3 respondent companies do not. Again, this shows that by and large the right companies were identified for the survey.

Figure 7: Responses on EO

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4. EMPLOYMENT Total employees

To get a feel of their size, companies were asked to provide figures both for their total work force as well as for those employees that are engaged in EO related activities. Figure 8 gives the number of persons employed by the surveyed companies. 180

Total no. of people employed per company

160 140 120 100 80 60 40 20 0

1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23 25 27 29 31 33 35 37 39 41 43 45 47 49 51 53 55 57 59 61 63 65 67 69 71 73 75 77

Total no. of responding companies

Figure 8: Total no. of employees per responding company

It has to be noted that among the 78 responding companies there is one response from a publically traded company with 750 employees and rather little EO related business.

The study team strongly believes that these are public employees of a governmental institution and their inclusion would distort the assessment of the true employment situation in the sector. Therefore the numbers given by that respondent have been

taken off the employment calculation in Figure 8. On the basis of this correction one arrives at an overall number of 1417 people employed in the sector, representing an

average of 18 employees per company. The study team thinks this is more realistic and works on the basis of these corrected figures also in the following sections of this chapter.

Again, based on these corrected employment figures employment rates per country from largest to smallest have been developed in Figure 9.

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248

90 5

2

Gabon

Rwanda

7

Sudan

Eritrea

Ethiopia

Egypt

Ghana

Senegal

Botswana

Madagascar

Nigeria

Kenya

South Africa

Morocco

0

26 20 16 15 14 14 11

Mali

47 46 44

50

Zimbabwe

101 99

Zambia

100

120

Uganda

150

161 158

Tanzania

173

Tunisia

200

Burkina Faso

250

Total employees per country sorted largest to smallest

Figure 9: Employment per country

Companies in six countries, namely Morocco, Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, Madagascar

and Botswana employ over 100 persons amounting to a total of 961 employees (~68% of 1417 total employees). The responses received from the two companies in Madagascar suggest that these are private enterprises within a public institution. The

study team had no means to ascertain whether the numbers accounted for in these two cases are private or public employees.

Employees by sub-region

Figure 10 below shows the total no. of employees, total no. of EO related employees

Total no. of employees

and the number of companies responding to the survey per sub-region. 450 400 350 300 250 200 150 100 50 0

Total employees

Total EO related employees No. of Companies involved

West Africa

East Africa

North Africa

Southern Africa

Central Africa

183

117

89

131

2

419 24

395 25

322 9

276 19

5

1

Figure 10: Breakdown of employees per sub-region including proportion of EO related employees INVENTORY OF PRIVATE SECTOR COMPANIES IN EARTH OBSERVATION AND GEOSPATIAL FIELDS IN AFRICA

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EO related employees

As shown in Figure 10 above, Figure 11 and Table 2 below, more than a third of people

employed by responding companies is engaged in EO related activities as defined above,

namely 552 out of the total of 1417 employees. The average number per company is 7 people engaged in EO related activities. 1500

20 15

1000

10

500 0

5

Total Employees

Total EO related employees

0

Average total employees

Figure 11: Ratio total and EO related employment

Total Employees

Total EO related employees

Average total EO related employees

Average Number

Total Number

Responses

7

552

78

18

1417

Table 2: Ratio total and EO related employment

78

4.3.1 Employment development in recent years

To get a feel for the continuity of business, companies were also asked whether the

number of EO related employees changed much over time. To keep things easy companies had been summarily asked about changes ‘in the last few years’ by ticking respective choices.

As shown in Figure 12, 34 % of respondents indicate that the number of their EO related employees stayed the same, 33 % indicated it increased somewhat, and 20 % that numbers increased significantly.

This seems to signal quite reassuringly that companies have stayed in business for a

number of recent years; a third has been able to employ more people during that time, and a fifth of companies even managed to expand their EO related activities by significantly increasing their staff.

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Has the no. of EO-related employees changed much in the last few years? Please tick.

Increased significantly > than 30 %, Increased somewhat Stayed the same Decreased somewhat Decreased by < 30 %

Figure 12: Employment change

4.3.2 Employment optimism

Companies were also asked to indicate trends they would anticipate in their company's number of EO related employees over the next 12 months (2016). The majority of all

respondent companies expressed cautious optimism: around 53 % respondents expect a slight increase in their number of EO related employees; 15 % of companies are even

very optimistic about being able to increase staff significantly. A quarter of respondents (24 %) think staff numbers will stay the same. Only 5 respondents out of 70 fear that they might have to reduce staff in the coming months (Figure 13).

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What trend do you expect in your company's number of EO related employees over the next 12 months?Please tick. Significant increase Slight increase No change

Slight decrease

Significant decrease

Figure 13: Employment expectations

Table 3: Employment expectations

Overall, these results suggest that the sector has not only grown as shown above, but is likely to continue to grow in the near future. The same picture can be seen in the

development of company revenues as well as perceived future trends of revenues in chapter 5 below.

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5. FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE Revenues

To get a feel for their financial performance, the study team had cautiously asked

companies about their revenues. As disclosing revenue figures is a sensitive issue for

many, companies were asked to only summarily indicate the range of their last year's revenue (i.e. 2015 figures) from EO related services lie, how revenues developed in recent years and what trend they would expect in the near future (2016).

As shown in the graphs below (Figure 14 and Table 4), 56 % of all companies (70 answers)

have performed in a band of up to $ 100k in 2015. 26 % of respondent companies indicate a revenue band between $ 100 - $ 500k and 11 % a band from $ 500k - $ 1

million. Only around 7 % of companies had revenues in the band $1m - $ 5m or above. There are slight differences in the figures given by respondents from English speaking countries and those from French speaking countries. But because the French speaking

company sample is comparatively small the study team has concentrated on overall figures given by the total of 70 respondents.

These revenue figures confirm the earlier observation that the majority of companies

that have been targeted with the survey are rather small firms. However, there are also some larger players.

Company Revenues: Could you please indicate in which band your last year's revenue from EO related services lies? Please tick. $1m - $5m 5.71% (4)

>$5m 1.43% (1)

$500k - $1m 11.43% (8) < $100k 55.71% (39)

$100k - $500k 25.71% (18)

Figure 14: Revenue bands in 2015

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Table 4: Revenue bands in 2015

To get an overview of where the largest players in the sector are located a regional breakdown is provided in Figure 15 below. 14 12 10

8 6 4 2 0

Western Africa

<$100k

$100k - $500k

$500k - $1m

$1m - $5m

>$5m

14

5

2

0

1

Eastern Africa

Southern Africa North Africa

Central Africa

Western Africa

11 10

4

5 0

6

1 Eastern Africa

2

6 0

0 0

Southern Africa

1 2

1 0

North Africa

0 0

0 0

Central Africa

Figure 15: Regional revenue bands from EO related business in 2015

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Revenue development in recent years

Responding on changes they had experienced in their revenues in the “last few years�, 55 % of companies claim that their revenues increased somewhat, 18.57 % claim revenues increased by more than 30 % and a percentage of 11 each said that revenues stayed the same or decreased somewhat.

Around 8 % of respondents say that their revenues have fallen by more than 30 % (Figure 16 and Table 5 below).

Have your revenues changed much in the last few years? Please tick

Decreased by <30% 9% Decreased somewhat 11%

Stayed the same 11%

8

6

13

Increased significantly > than 30% 19%

8 Increased somewhat 50%

Figure 16: Revenue change

Table 5: Revenue change

As with employment evolution, the study team also sees from revenue developments that the industry has steadily grown, with some companies having done quite well in increasing their earnings in the last few years.

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Geographic origin of revenues

The study team wanted to know from where, geographically, revenues originated. So

companies were asked where they do business and give us a rough indication what percentage of their revenues comes from where.

As answers in Figure 17 and Table 6 show, revenues accrue primarily in companies’

home countries (countries where they are legally registered). 75 % of responding companies operate primarily on a national level.

Some 15 % of companies also realise income beyond national borders, i.e. in their sub-

regional neighbourhood. The number of companies that have business on a continental scale or receive revenues internationally, is relatively small (around 10 %).

80,00

Geographic origin of revenues: where geographically, is your business being done? Roughly, what percentage of your revenues comes from where? The total needs to amount to 100. Please enter numbers without the "%" symbol.

70,00 60,00 50,00 40,00 30,00 20,00 10,00

,00

Domestic (your home country)

African Sub-region

Africa-wide

International

Figure 17: Geographic origin of revenues

Table 6: Geographic origin of revenues

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Revenue Optimism

As for expected employment trends, companies were asked about their expectations

for their EO related revenues over the next 12 months (2016). Answers received show that the vast majority of respondents is rather optimistic if not enthusiastic about being able to increase their revenues.

As shown in Figure 18 and Table 7, 45 % of 69 respondents expect a significant increase in their revenues and 42 % a slight increase.

Only some 7 % (5 responses) expect their revenues to stagnate. Around 5 % of

respondents (4 responses) fear their revenues to slightly or significantly fall over the next 12 months.

By and large companies seem to be trusting in continued growth both in revenues and employment.

What trend do you expect in your company's EO related revenues over the next 12 months? Slight decrease 4.35%; (3)

Significant decrease 1.45%; (1)

No change 7.25%; (5) Significant increase 44.93%; (31)

Slight increase 42.03%; (29)

Figure 18: Revenue expectations

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Table 7: Revenue expectations

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6. MARKET STRUCTURE Focus of EO related business

A principal intention for the survey was, of course, to find out what companies actually do, in what segments of the market they would operate and who their clients are.

Companies were asked to indicate the focus of their EO related activities by choosing from seven given categories; multiple answers were allowed.

As shown in Figure 19 below, the service type of companies’ EO related business is clearly in downstream/ GIS services, defined as main business not being in EO but using satellite data (84 % of 70 responses).

75 % of responding companies also do consultancy, that is studies and analyses which

are not value-added services and other support activities, and 64 % of responding companies provide value-adding services using satellite data to create products.

37 % of companies resell satellite or other data from third party sources and 24 % do

business in hard or software. Only 10 % of responding companies command space infrastructure or are satellite operators. 5 % (4 answers) receive and distribute data, meaning they are owners or operators of a ground station.

Figure 19: Spread of EO related business INVENTORY OF PRIVATE SECTOR COMPANIES IN EARTH OBSERVATION AND GEOSPATIAL FIELDS IN AFRICA

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Table 8: Spread of EO related business

Market segments

Companies were asked to indicate in which major market segments they do business.

The study team offered a multiple answer list of twelve segments it considered applicable. An additional choice of ‘other’ was possible.

Responses from surveyed companies suggest that business is primarily done in the three following segments of the market: 

Local and regional planning (66 % of respondents)

Agriculture (51.43 %).

Environmental, pollution, climate (59 %) and

Other important segments comprise the Utilities sector (water, electricity, waste), indicated by 37 % of companies, the Mining sector (21 %), and Transportation (15 %).

10 % of companies’ do business in Forestry, and in the area of Humanitarian operations/

Health respectively. The Oil/ Gas sector plays a role for 8 % of companies, and the security sector for 7 % of respondents.

Very few companies (4 responses) in the sample do business in more special areas like Maritime or Fisheries. Six respondents (8 %) chose “other”, but did not elaborate (Figure 20 and Table 9).

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Figure 20: Relevant market segments

Table 9: Relevant market segments

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Customers

Companies were asked to indicate which customer types are most relevant for their business and give a rough percentage for each of five given categories.

As shown in Figure 21 and Table 10 it clearly emerges that the public sector is the principal customer for respondent companies (53 out of 70 responses). But private companies are also important clients (34 out of 70 responses). It is assumed that these private clients would probably be mining companies, agricultural consortia, forest plantations or construction companies (roads, etc.).

Some 15 of respondents have clients in international organisations and nongovernmental organisations (NGOs). As could be expected, public R&D sponsors and academic institutions only play a very minor role for the business of private companies.

60,00

Which are your main customer types?Please give a rough percentage of your business in the following customer categories. The total needs to amount to 100. Please enter numbers without the "%" symbol.

50,00 40,00 30,00 20,00 10,00

,00

Public sector (Local, National, Regional)

Public R&D sponsor

Private company

International organizations (including NGO's)

Academia

Figure 21: Customers

Table 10: Customers

INVENTORY OF PRIVATE SECTOR COMPANIES IN EARTH OBSERVATION AND GEOSPATIAL FIELDS IN AFRICA

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Working relationships with other companies

To find out something about the network companies would command, companies were

asked about their working relationship with other companies – in Africa and elsewhere. It turned out (see Figure 22 and Table 11) that – if they work with other companies – companies collaborate foremost with other companies in African countries (other than

the country of the company’s location): 76 % of respondents indicate that they have working relations with companies in other African countries.

64 % of respondent companies seem to have working relations with European companies and 47 % with companies in North America (US, Canada).

A quarter of all respondent companies have working relationships also with Asian

companies. This figure is slightly higher in English speaking respondents than in French speaking respondents and most likely due to easier lingual communication.

Not surprisingly working relations with companies in Australia and Latin America are rather few in the sample.

Figure 22: Business relations with other companies

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Table 11: Business relations with other companies

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7. SUPPLIER STRUCTURE AND DATA Data used

Given that the survey was conducted in the context of the European EO Programme

Copernicus and the policy on free and open Sentinel data, it was necessary to know

which free data sources companies currently use, what data they buy and how much money they have to spend on the acquisition of commercial data.

As shown in Figure 23 and Table 12, 67 % of all respondents (70 companies) currently use free Landsat data. 25 % of respondents currently use Sentinels data while 40 % are

using free data from multiple sources. Comments on data from multiple sources indicate that, besides Google, companies use SPOT, SPOT VGT, ASTER, ASTER DM, MODIS, SRTM and NOAA.

17 % of respondents are not currently using any free data at all. Do you currently use free satellite data?Please tick. 80,0% 70,0% 60,0% 50,0% 40,0% 30,0% 20,0% 10,0% 0,0%

No, I am not Yes I am currently currently using free using free Landsat data. data.

Yes I am currently Yes, I am currently using Sentinels using free data from data. multiple sources.

Figure 23: Free Data

INVENTORY OF PRIVATE SECTOR COMPANIES IN EARTH OBSERVATION AND GEOSPATIAL FIELDS IN AFRICA

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Table 12: Free Data

Data suppliers

Asked whether they currently buy data from commercial suppliers and from where, companies responded as follows (Figure 24 and Table 13):

48 % of respondents do not currently buy data from commercial suppliers at all. 40 % do buy data, namely from US as well as from European satellites.

Some 4 % (3 responses) either buy data from Indian satellites (IRS) or from other

operators. Three respondents say to buy data from African satellite operators. This

suggests that African satellite data currently play no significant role for private business. Do you currently buy data from commercial suppliers? Please tick. 60,0% 50,0% 40,0% 30,0% 20,0% 10,0%

0,0%

No

Yes, from African satellites

Yes, from US satellites

Yes, from European satellites

Yes, from Indian satellites (IRS)

Yes, from others (China, Japan, etc.)

Figure 24: Commercial Data

INVENTORY OF PRIVATE SECTOR COMPANIES IN EARTH OBSERVATION AND GEOSPATIAL FIELDS IN AFRICA

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Table 13: Commercial Data

Importance of Free Data

Those respondents that buy data from commercial suppliers were asked to provide rough figures for the average yearly amount they spend on satellite data. The respective sample here is 38 companies.

As shown in Figure 25 and Table 14, 34 % of these companies spend $ 20k on satellite data in average per year. 34 % of respondents spend $ 10k or less per year.

15 % (6 responses) said they spend $ 50k, and the same number of respondents said they spend even $100k or more per year.

If you answered 'yes' to the previous question, how much do you roughly spend on satellite data on average per year?Please tick.

<$10k

$20k

$50k

$100k or more

Figure 25: Data Expenditure INVENTORY OF PRIVATE SECTOR COMPANIES IN EARTH OBSERVATION AND GEOSPATIAL FIELDS IN AFRICA

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Table 14: Data Expenditure

As will be seen in chapter 9 of this report, cost of EO data is perceived to be one of the

most significant barriers to growth of the industry by all respondents. Costs of data needed to be reviewed as they were prohibitive for the average user. Availability and

accessibility of free data was regarded as the one factor that could strengthen business in the sector. Data quality and standards for each end use application was also mentioned as a critical issue.

Looking at the data used by companies (Figure 23) and the segments in which they do business (Figure 20), it can be assumed that they are most probably talking of high resolution datasets. Affordability of high-resolution data is a request that has been made repeatedly at AARSE conferences.

African Satellites

With the survey targeting the African EO industry, the study team also wanted to

develop a picture of companies’ knowledge about the existing African satellites. Companies were simply asked whether they were aware of the existence of African satellites, namely the NIGERIASAT Family, ALSAT Family, EGYPTSAT Family and SumbandilaSat).

Results revealed that the vast majority of company respondents do know these data suppliers (78 %).

However, 21 % of respondents, (that is 15 out of 70) are not aware that some African nations have their own mini-satellites (Figure 26 and Table 15). This figure seems to confirm earlier findings indicating that African satellite data supply plays only a minor role for private EO related business in Africa.

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Are you aware that some African nations have their own minisatellites, namely Nigeria (NIGERIASAT Family), Algeria (ALSAT Family), Egypt (EGYPTSAT Family) and South Africa 80,0%

(SumbandilaSat)? Please tick.

70,0% 60,0% 50,0% 40,0% 30,0% 20,0% 10,0% 0,0%

Yes

No

Figure 26: African satellites

Table 15: African satellites

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8. CAPACITY-BUILDING Number of companies that do training

As shown below in Figure 27 and Table 16, more than 88 % of all respondents indicate

that they regularly provide training. Only about 11 % (8 companies out of 70 responding companies) do not.

Figure 27: Percentage of companies providing training

Table 16: Percentage of companies providing training

Target groups of Training

As shown below (Figure 28 and Table 17), out of the 62 companies that carry out regular training activities, 58 % of companies do so for both company employees as well as potential customers.

25 % of training targets potential clients only and 16 % company employees only.

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Figure 28: Target groups of training

Type of training

Table 17: Target groups of training

In order to find out what type of training companies do, the questionnaire provided a list six multiple answer choices, i.e. training areas considered relevant. Companies were

asked to tick applicable answer boxes. They were of course also given the additional option to tick ‘other’ and give comments on what other training areas they would cover.

As shown in Figure 29 and Table 18 below, 85 % of companies provide GIS training. This

is not surprising given that the main business activity of surveyed companies is in downstream services.

But 62 % of respondents also do training in remote sensing, 57 % in data integration as well as in image processing, and 53 % in application oriented interpretation. Training in modelling is done by 34 % of respondents.

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What type of training do you do?Please tick. 100,0% 80,0% 60,0% 40,0% 20,0% 0,0%

Figure 29: Training subjects

Table 18: Training subjects

21 % of training measures concern other subjects. Among these are photogrammetry; UAV training; geospatial web-application development; geo-software development,

applications and interoperability training; spatial databases; GPS, hydrography; data

acquisition; numerical cartography; hydrography and disaster risk management, as indicated by respondents.

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9. STRATEGIC ISSUES Growth/ Barriers to Growth

To understand how the African private EO industry is currently doing, it was essential to solicit respondents’ views on obstacles to growth and on challenges they struggle with.

Companies were asked to indicate the most significant barriers to growth that the

industry faces. Out of a given list of twelve alternatives respondents were to select the five they would consider the most significant and comment as to why.

As shown in Figure 30 and Table 19 below, a majority of all respondents (70 answers) perceive the following three issues to be the most significant barriers to growth: 

Customers recognise benefits but lack budget (ticked by 80 %)

Lack of development funding (ticked by 65 %), and

Cost of EO data (ticked by 58 %).

Contract compliance (customers paying late) and contract acquisition (finding new

customers) are also severe problems mentioned by 50 and 44 % of respondents respectively.

Policy and legal provisions hampering growth are ticked by 37 % of all respondents. The latter percentage is even higher with French respondents: 47 % of French respondents have indicated policy and legal provisions as a major problem.

This may tie in with the facts that a) the study team was able to identify a comparatively

higher number of companies in somewhat more liberal English speaking Southern and

Eastern Africa as well as Nigeria than in West and North Africa, and that b), in general,

companies from the former regions more readily responded to the survey questionnaire than those from the North and West of Africa.

The lack of venture capital is mentioned by 35 % of respondents, and the lack of operational data supply by 32 %.

The 1/3 ratio pointing out a lack of operational data is rather high and therefore noteworthy.

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Lack of staff seems to be regarded as a minor issue (14 % of respondents), suggesting

that trained professional staff can be found on the market. However, several respondents did remark on a lack of staff with special skills and sufficiently educated professionals.

Figure 30: Impacts on growth

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Table 19: Impacts on growth

The issues of competition and public/ private sector support are not considered here, as they are dealt with separately and in detail in the two sections below.

However, the study team would like to mention that several respondents used the

opportunity to give explanation of their answer choices. The following issues were pointed out: 

Cost of high resolution data impacting on both existing and new customers;

Some companies having a monopoly on access to EO and creating a barrier to entry

  

Some EO data being too costly for small developmental projects; by overpricing access for those not their agents or subsidiaries; Data piracy and data standards;

Limited capacity in business management;

Business in the mining sector is difficult at present due to the economic situation of the industry.

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Competition

Competition coming from other EO suppliers is considered a threat to their own company’s growth by 27 % of respondents. Competition from government funded National Space Agencies was pointed out in comments.

Competition from non-EO sources was ticked by 10 %. Here, losing business to surveying and mapping companies was mentioned as an example.

Competition from European companies has also been mentioned in comments, particularly in connection with Europe-funded projects. Here some respondents claimed

that European companies were given preference over African companies (‘money does not cross oceans’).

Governmental and private sector support

As far as public and private support to the industry is concerned, answers given by both

English and French sets of respondents show that, besides policy and legal provisions already mentioned above, the following two issues are perceived as major issues hampering growth of the private EO and geospatial industry:  

Lack of development funding Lack of venture capital.

”Development funding” might have been understood in different ways by the respondent companies (national, regional, or continental African R&D programmes;

R&D funding by international entities, Oversees Development Assistance, etc.). However, given the information to companies that the survey was conducted by AARSE

in collaboration with EARSC and funded by DG Growth/EC it is suspected that companies are looking for greater support from international sources, including EC programmes.

Lack of venture capital seems to be a common complaint both in Europe and in Africa. A stable business environment with potential for growth is a pre-requisite and this is

questionable for different reasons on both continents. One of the main reasons is

probably the highly technical nature of the business where traditional investors are not comfortable to provide capital. This is not the case in the US where evidence can be seen

of technical savvy investors backing new often blue-skies ventures. But this class of

investor seems to be missing in Europe and further effort will be needed by both companies and governments alike to help free up investment capital.

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In terms of funding, the following was noted in respondents’ comments: 

Companies experience budget constraints;

Most funding is project-based, temporary funding, making it difficult for a company

Insignificant and underdeveloped funding options for EO start-ups; to do long term planning;

Access to innovation funds.

A key barrier is seen from the responses listed above where companies cite the lack of

a stable revenue stream as being a particular issue. The project-based nature of the business today is certainly a key factor. This may change in the future as a swing away from bespoke products (project-based contracts) to off-the-shelf products (servicebased contracts) develops.

One key step is for governments to acknowledge their role as purchasers of services so providing an underpinning market and revenue source for companies. This is a key step

which is complicated by the presence of many government research bodies which provide services to their governments. After all, in Africa it can be seen that some 63%

of revenues come from governments which is a similar figure to that seen in Europe. Governments are both customers for EO products as well as seeking to sponsor the sector as a perceived hi-tech growth area.

Companies’ valuation of problems depending on unfavourable policy and legal

provisions is clearly addressed to national African governments, sub-regional African governing authorities and to the AUC (such as heading on its commitments to the

implementation of the African Space Policy and Strategy, involving the African private EO and geospatial sector, PanAF, etc.).

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Trade Associations

On the assumption that there might be a need for the African private sector to get better organised and have its needs and interests better voiced and heard companies were

asked about their opinion on trade associations as well as on improved collaboration with AARSE and EARSC.

Companies were specifically asked whether they were interested in becoming a member

of an African EO industry association and be prepared to take initiative in that regard,

and at what level they would consider an association useful. Multiple answers on the latter were allowed.

As shown in Figure 31 and Table 20 below, a majority of respondents (69 answers)

expressed interest in a trade association at national (58 %) and/ or continental levels (60 %). Interest for an association at sub-regional level is a little less (52 %), and some 7 % of respondents are not interested at all.

Figure 31: Interest in trade association

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Collaboration with AARSE

As shown below, in Figure 32 and Table 21, 95 % of all respondents (69 companies) expressed their interest in engaging more closely with AARSE that is currently the only

Pan-African organisation representing the EO and geospatial research and services communities in Africa. Three companies denied.

Figure 32: Interest in AARSE

Table 21: Interest in AARSE

However, there were also some critical remarks in comments, like a lack of

communicated aims of AARSE and a lack of outreach through its biennial conferences. These issues are tackled in section 9.7 below.

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Collaboration with European companies and EARSC

Companies were also asked whether they are interested in engaging more closely with European Earth Observation services companies, as represented by EARSC.

As given below (Figure 33 and Table 22), the overwhelming majority (95 %) of

respondents to this question (67 responses) shows indeed interest in closer collaboration with European counterparts.

Figure 33: Interest in EARSC

Table 22: Interest in EARSC

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Companies’ expectations from AARSE and EARSC

Quite naturally, it was good to use the opportunity to begin learning what companies’ expectations from AARSE as well as EARSC would be.

That is why the question what further steps companies would like to see AARSE and EARSC take to strengthen the EO industry in Africa and facilitate collaboration was asked. The questionnaire provided five multiple answer choices and a comment section for companies to give us more details on suggestions if they wished.

As shown in Figure 34 and Table 23 below, 84 % of respondents suggested joint projects. Training in topics such as project planning, processing of data, etc. and more opportunities for information exchange (such as conferences, exhibitions, e. g. the

biennial AARSE conference) would be also highly welcome (73 % of respondents). Almost the same number of respondents would go for partnerships (71 %).

Joint workshops have been ticked somewhat less often (by 52 %); however, that could be due to us not having properly defined collaboration offers.

What further steps would you like to see AARSE and EARSC take to strengthen the EO industry in Africa and facilitate collaboration? Please tick. 100,0% 80,0% 60,0% 40,0% 20,0% 0,0%

Training (e. g. Information Joint workshops Partnerships project exchange planning? (conferences, Processing of exhibitions, e. g. data? Etc.) biennial AARSE conference)

Joint projects

Figure 34: Company expectations

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Table 23: Company expectations

Comments given by companies on this question concern the following suggestions: 

Specialised training and exchange of experience in the framework of partnerships

In order to promote aspects of methodologies and research, science days should be

between European and African geo-information organisations. regularly organised.

More opportunities should be provided for young EO professionals, researchers and

students to participate in various activities and relevant projects of AARSE and EARSC.

A joint online platform should be created where African scientists, professionals and researchers of EO and related technologies could meet, network, share ideas/works,

provide professional and career development opportunities and facilitate collaboration on projects. An operational real-time platform like this would benefit

a larger proportion of the African geo-information community than occasional    

conferences.

Training in EO business management.

Establish a mentoring platform for African start-ups.

Give support to young entrepreneurs for setting up their business, incubation and launching of activities.

Partnerships with African companies for developing light-house services that can be

used as demonstration projects for sensitising African private and public decisionmakers on the value of earth observation and geo-information in policies and economic & social development programmes of the continent.

The latter alludes on the persistent need to raise more public awareness of EO and geospatial technologies in Africa and stimulate policy provisions that promote the adoption of new technologies.

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For example, it was stated that the benefits of AARSE conferences on Geoinformation (GI) and remote sensing would not trickle down to the African public because few technical experts were targeted. More impact in Africa would be made by targeting the

average African and thereby also getting the attention of politicians and other decision-

makers. This in turn could help to create more opportunities for the African GI industry.

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10. COPERNICUS AND GMES & AFRICA Common research interests by the parties involved in the present survey naturally commanded to find out whether African companies knew about Copernicus, the data

already provided and planned under the European Earth Observation programme, and the Europe-Africa cooperation in earth observation, namely the GMES & Africa initiative.

The European EO Programme Copernicus

In this section of the questionnaire companies were firstly asked whether they knew about Copernicus. Overall results are quite blunt:

As shown below, nearly 49 % of all respondents are aware of Copernicus, and half of

that percentage even expect to use its data and services. But, 51 % of respondent companies indicate to have never heard about Copernicus. That gives the clear message that the programme is not too well known across the African private sector.

Figure 35: Copernicus

Table 24: Copernicus

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COPERNICUS/ Sentinels Data

Companies were secondly asked whether they were aware that data from the European

Sentinel satellites are free and open and whether they planned to access and use data from the Sentinel satellites.

As shown below, results are again quite straight forward. 58 % of all respondents (70 companies) are not aware that data from the European Sentinel satellites are free and

open. 38 % are aware and plan to use Sentinels data. 2 respondents claim to be aware but have no plans to use these data.

Figure 36: Copernicus Sentinels

Table 25: Copernicus Sentinels

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GMES & Africa

Companies were thirdly asked whether they were aware of the GMES & Africa initiative. Responses here are even clearer than with Copernicus:

67 % of all respondents indicated that they are not aware of GMES & Africa. Only a rough

third of all respondents seems to know about this initiative of Europe-Africa cooperation in earth observation (Figure 37 and Table 26).

Figure 37: GMES and Africa

Table 26: GMES and Africa

GMES & Africa intends to supply services in nine thematic areas, namely 

Management of Natural Resources

Water resources management

Marine & Coastal Management

Impacts of Climate Variability & Change

Disaster Risk Reduction

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Food Security & Rural Development

Conflicts & Political Crises

Health Management Issues, and

Infrastructure & Territorial Development.

Therefore, fourthly, companies were asked which of these would be relevant for their

current business. Responses reveal a great interest of companies in all of these areas. Quite obviously relevance is very strongly rated for those themes that somehow relate

to market segments many of surveyed companies operate in, such as Infrastructure &

Territorial Development, Management of Natural Resources, Food Security & Rural Development, Water resources management and Impacts of Climate Variability and

Change (see chapter 6.2 above). However, also themes that did not reflect in companies’ business in other responses are considered relevant such as Disaster Risk Reduction and Health Management.

The spectrum of responses is given in Figure 38 and Table 27 below.

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Figure 38: GMES & Africa services

Table 27: GMES & Africa services

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Although 67% of all respondents are unaware of GMES & Africa there seems to be great

interest in the initiative. The positive response may have several aspects: hopefully, most companies find many of the envisaged themes interesting; and/ or consider them

important aspects in the development of Africa in general; and/ or hope to expand their business activities into other fields expecting to partake in the GMES & Africa initiative Whatever their perceived thinking is AARSE is committed to providing guidance, support and the platform to inform about the initiative, but the AUC which is now being

empowered to manage GMES & Africa must engage in the promotion of GMES & Africa services.

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11. 11. GEO AND AFRIGEOSS Concerning global efforts by the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) and more particularly, the African initiative of AfriGEOSS aiming at the enhancement of Africa's capacity for producing, managing and using Earth observations, the study team did not

want to leave out the opportunity to ask companies about their awareness of these coordination initiatives.

Company answers suggest that there is much to be done. 70 % of all respondents are

not aware of GEO or AfriGEOSS. Not even one third of all respondents seem to have heard about these endeavours.

Figure 39: GEO/ AfriGEOSS

Table 28: GEO/ AfriGEOSS

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12. MAIN ISSUES TO BE ADDRESSED IN THE NEAR FUTURE From the results described in chapter 10 and 11 above, and also in several other chapters of this report some key issues are derived. For both AARSE and EARSC: 

Address possible ways to increase the number of companies identified across the African continent and the response rate in some under-represented African countries and regions.

Widely disseminate the publication of the survey results, depict the landscape of African companies on an accessible platform, and stimulate more companies to be on the map.

Most surveyed companies operate on a national level and do not seem to look much

across national African borders or in Africa as a whole for acquiring more business. Yet, many are interested in a Pan-African trade association as well as in stronger

relationships with European companies. The planned business forum during the 11th AARSE Conference will provide an ideal framework to discuss these issues and

develop a detailed action plan. AARSE and EARSC have an important role to play in facilitating business-to-business contacts. This is also highlighted in the MOU between the two organisations. For AARSE: 

Provide relevant information to the private sector through the AARSE Newsletter

Step up activities (e.g., capacity building workshops and seminars, joint projects and

The survey clearly indicates that the private sector is interested in the establishment

and through its five regional Councillors in Africa.

research, etc.) dedicated to the private sector.

of a business association. AARSE will facilitate the creation of an Association of African Remote Sensing Companies (AARSC) either as a subsidiary of AARSE or as a

private entity.

AARSE will also address identified interests in enhanced cooperation between

African and European companies and facilitate connectivity between African private sector and international actors.

An Africa-wide systematic survey on private sector companies engaged in EO and

geospatial information sciences was of great importance to AARSE since some time.

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Therefore a special session to present and discuss the findings of this survey is high on the agenda of the 11th AARSE Conference in Kampala this year. The associated

business forum will provide an ideal opportunity to respond to company demands

and set up activities to meet them. With the feed-back of survey findings AARSE will 

announce the business forum and encourage African companies to attend.

Further joint meetings between African and European counterparts should be considered alongside other major meetings.

For EARSC: 

 

   

EARSC members are interested in developing links with potential partners in Africa. This survey and subsequent actions in cooperation with AARSE will help facilitate this.

A trade Association representing African companies can definitely help to enable links between African and European companies.

The business to business forum during the AARSE 11th conference will be a good first step. EARSC will support the organisation and encourage European companies to attend.

Further measures can be considered which will stimulate interest in the event and participation from European companies. A prize competition is being considered by some stakeholders as one way to achieve this.

Case studies showing examples of successful co-operation projects can be brought

together to demonstrate some of the potential for African and European companies. African companies can be informed of latest developments in the European sector which can also stimulate more business in Africa.

Market development activities by ESA / EARSC can be further considered as being able to support specific collaborative projects fostering co-operation.

Further joint meetings should be considered over and above the biennial AARSE conference. EC support should be sought for organising events alongside other, interesting major meetings.

For GEO/ AfriGEOSS: Apparently GEO/ AfriGEOSS is not known or understood by the African private sector. It

is suspected that companies might assume that AfriGEOSS is mostly about policy issues, even if they know about these initiatives. 

Step up activities to better inform the private sector about AfriGEOSS.

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Demonstrate to the private sector why the initiative is important and what companies would gain out of it in the long run.

For the AUC: 

There seems to be a particular need for the AUC to inform the African private sector about major political developments on the continent, namely the African Space Policy & Strategy, and major programmes such as GMES & Africa.

Assume the AUC’s coordinating role which has been spelled out by the African Space Policy.

For the EC: 

As one of the global players in space (Copernicus/ Sentinels), the EC could strengthen its outreach and dissemination efforts on Copernicus services and Sentinels data to the African private sector.

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13. CONCLUSIONS In this last section the authors of this report, EARSC and AARSE, assess work done with this survey and outline plans to follow up with further surveys.

This industry survey has provided a very rich source of data on the Earth Observation services industry in Southern, West, East and North Africa which has been used to generate the analysis and the charts in this report. It shows a growing industry employing some 1500 people throughout these sub-regions. It is also anticipated that

the dataset will serve to support further analysis against specific questions which may be posed and to support industry facts and figures in the future. 

AARSE and EARSC wish to use this as the start of a regular analysis of the industry

with a target to generate a report once every 2 years. This will be a shorter survey than the one just undertaken but will address a number of key trends. It is

anticipated to repeat a full industry survey in around 5 years.

The survey has covered the industrial EO services sector but has missed some important elements that should be covered in the future.

o Firstly, the employment figures should be complemented with those of public sector bodies operating using EO data. The sector is a particular mix of

public and private actors and the survey has deliberately only looked at the private side which was a clear priority.

o Secondly, coverage of the whole of Africa (Central Africa, Mozambique and Angola) and better coverage of some countries (particularly in North Africa) is needed. o

Thirdly, on the private side the study has only looked at those companies

which are supplying services to others. There are many organisations which are using EO data as the basis for analysis within their own organisation i.e.

as internal service departments. The study team would have liked to include these in its survey but was not able to this time around. A future survey should address this part of the sector. 

Overall, the survey has fulfilled its objectives to understand what the EO services sector looks like, how it is evolving and what the issues are that it is facing. AARSE

and EARSC look forward to revisiting it in 2 years’ time to see how it will have changed.

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The study team would like to thank the AARSE President Prof Jide Kufoniyi (Nigeria),

AARSE Secretary General Prof Kamal Labbassi (Morocco), AARSE Councillor West-Africa Mahamadou Keita (Burkina Faso), Souleye Wade (Senegal), and Foster Mensah (Ghana) for their assistance in facilitating contacts to respective companies in their countries. It also acknowledges the help received from numerous personal colleagues.

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ANNEX 1: GLOSSARY/ DEFINITIONS In this annex some of the more relevant definitions will be addressed in order to provide

some common understanding to the present industry survey. The following list (selected) is taken from EARSC Industry Survey Final Report Sept2013.

Company: A company is a legal entity owned by shareholders which has a business objective to make a profit. The survey includes companies that may be owned by government bodies if they publish accounts and have a profit objective.

Consultancy: Consultancy involves any advisory activity that is not directly related to an added value product or service delivery.

Data: in the context of this study, data is a digital steam coming from one or more sensors (mainly satellites) that are then used as the basis for processing into information. EO data is that data related to the measurement of parameters associated with the Earth.

Data providers (data suppliers): EO data providers distribute raw data from their own or other satellite systems. Initial processing on raw data, such as radiometric correction and geometric correction is usually carried out to correct for any distortion due to the

characteristics of the imaging system and imaging conditions. See also Satellite Operator.

Data Processing Services: service type converting available data into easy, accessible and available format.

Downstream: This is used to refer to the part of the value chain delivering information

services. The survey makes a distinction between "value-adding" and "downstream" to

separate those companies which are dealing directly with data coming from EO satellites

i.e. EO data and those working with derived products in which EO data has been used. The distinction is expected to become more important for future surveys in which an analysis further down the value chain can be anticipated.

Earth Observation related Services: The term EO-related services is taken to mean any geospatial information service activity which in some way involves data coming from EO satellites (including meteorological satellites) i.e. any satellite with one or more sensors

that measure parameters coming from the earth's surface or atmosphere. The

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consultancy based around knowledge of the imagery or its use. It starts from the point

where imagery is transmitted to the ground so it does include reception and processing

of imagery but does not include construction of ground stations or the satellites delivering the data. Note that it includes all geo-spatial information services activities

where satellite EO data has been used and so extends to downstream information

processing of geospatial information where data being used has been derived from EO imagery possibly in combination with other data types.

Ground Station Operator: This is an organisation which is providing the service of “data reception” by operating the equipment necessary to control and to acquire data from EO satellites.

They may be doing this for their own satellites or under contract to a satellite operator or other 3rd party.

Market Sector: A definition of categories into which different customers can be placed.

In other words, categories in which customers are undertaking the same type of business activity.

Remote sensing: Remote sensing is used to obtain information about objects. Data is collected with an instrument and then analysed. The instrument used is not in direct contact with the object.

The platforms used are located "at a distance" from the earth’s surface (for example, aircraft and satellites).

R&D Activity: R&D activity is typically in developing concepts into real saleable services

or products and making them ready to be sold in the commercial market. It will also include significant work to update a product or service method so that it may be offered

in the future in a different form to the current. In this case R&D does not include market research which is part of the marketing and promotion activity.

Revenues - Turnover: Is the income that the company receives from its normal business activities usually from the sales of EO data or value added activities to their customers.

Satellite Operator: An organisation which is operating one or more EO satellites which

either they own or they operate under license with the owner (which may be a government or public sector body).

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SME´s: "SME" stands for small and medium-sized enterprises – as defined in EU law: EU recommendation 2003/361. The main factors determining whether a company is an SME are: 1) number of employees and 2) either turnover or balance sheet total.

Services types (EO): The generic (i.e. not market or thematic area specific) service

component(s) of an end to end EO service that are provided: (data processing, raw data sales, value added data sales, software development services, consultancy, information product, service sales, software license resale)

Software Development Services: service type which includes all that is involved

between the conception of the desired software through to the final manifestation of the software, ideally in a planned and structured process

User: A user is an individual or organisation that uses an EO product or service. They

might not necessarily pay for the service however e.g. funded to use the service as part of an institutionally funded study.

Value Adding Services: are defined as any business process meeting any of the following criteria: enhancing or upgrading the space signal; targeting specific end-users with dedicated applications; combining several applications at once.

Value Chain: Earth Observation industry composes a unique value chain that provides various information to the customers. The whole EO value chain includes EO system

providers, system operators, data providers, value-adding, GI Services, research Institutes, non-EO service providers and customers. This survey only deals with companies that supply or work with EO data in some form.

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ANNEX 2: PROFILES EARSC AND AARSE EARSC

EARSC is a non-profit-making organisation created in 1989 with the mission to foster the

development of European Geo-Information Service Industry. Its main objective is to

stimulate a sustainable market for geo-information services using EO data. Today, EARSC has about 65 members in more than 20 countries, and is a recognised association both in Europe and worldwide.

EARSC represents the European providers of geo-information services creating a

network between industry, decision-makers and users. It considers that the market is at

a crucial stage of development as Earth observation becomes more frequently used by

society and adds positive value to our daily lives. Nevertheless, there are many issues,

opportunities and threats facing industrial actors and, through a small secretariat,

EARSC informs and involves its members though its website and newsletters, through the provision of web-tools, as well as organising events.

EARSC provides tools for its members to promote themselves and their services. As well

as the EARSC web-site (www.earsc.org), it runs the OGEO Portal (www.ogeo-portal.eu)

for communication between the EO services sector and the Oil & Gas industry and a

brokerage site (www.eopages.eu) for customers to find the services which they require and which companies can provide them with a solution. More in http://earsc.org/ . AARSE

AARSE was founded in 1992 and incorporated as an international Non-Government

Organisation (NGO) under Section 21 of the South African Companies Act 61 of 1973 (Company registration No. 2008/029110/08) in 2008. AARSE is a membership-based

organisation, governed by an Executive Council and an international Advisory Board. AARSE is a Pan-African organisation, and the only organisation at the moment that can represent the African EO / Geospatial industry.

It is a partner of several dedicated

African institutions and international organisations such as: the International Society for

Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS), the IEEE Geosciences and Remote Sensing Society (GRSS), and the European Association of remote Sensing Laboratories (EARSeL). AARSE is a participating organisation in the Group on Earth Observations

(GEO) and an institutional member of the Global Spatial Data Infrastructure (GSDI) Association. As a member of the UN-ECA’s Executive Working Group on Geo-

information, AARSE has contributed to the activities of the UN-ECA Committee on INVENTORY OF PRIVATE SECTOR COMPANIES IN EARTH OBSERVATION AND GEOSPATIAL FIELDS IN AFRICA

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Development Information, Science and Technology (CODIST), sub-Committee on Geo-

information. The AARSE international conference series commenced in 1996 and is conducted biennially across Africa. Its main objective is to bring together scholars and professionals from the African and international community to present latest

achievements, discuss challenges and share experiences. Together with its partners AARSE has also organised other conferences, dedicated workshops and short courses in various parts of Africa over the years. More in http://africanremotesensing.org/.

REFERENCES Official Journal of the European Union, Regulation (EU) No 377/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 3 April 2014 establishing the Copernicus Programme African Union, African Space Policy (Draft Version 13), Addis Ababa, October 2015 African Union, African Space Strategy – Towards social, political and economic integration, Version 01, Addis Ababa, October 2015

PanAF – Programme to support GMES & Africa, Formulation Report Draft version 1, 23 April 2015

Ionel Zamfir: In Depth Analysis of Africa’s Economic Growth by the European Parliamentary Research Service, 2016

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