About Africa-EU Innovation Alliance for Water and Climate
The AfriAlliance project aims to better prepare Africa for future climate change challenges by having African and European stakeholders work together in the areas of water innovation, research, policy, and capacity development. Rather than creating new networks, the 16 EU and African partners in this project are consolidating existing ones, consisting of scientists, decision makers, practitioners, citizens, and other key stakeholders, into an effective, problem-focused knowledge sharing mechanism. This is coordinated by means of an innovation platform: the Africa-EU Innovation Alliance for Water and Climate.
AfriAlliance is supporting the existing networks in identifying appropriate social innovations and technological solutions for key water and climate change challenges. It is capitalising on the knowledge and innovation base and potential in Africa and in the EU. The project is supporting effective means of knowledge sharing and technology transfer within Africa and between Africa and the EU, all with the aim of increasing African preparedness to address the vulnerability of water and climate change-related challenges.
AfriAlliance is making extensive use of existing/emerging communication channels and events (EU/African platforms, conferences and social media) to streamline climate change issues into water-related networks, thereby raising awareness about their impacts and propose adaptation measures.
Africa-EU cooperation is taken to a practical level by sharing (non-)technological solutions for local challenges, thus also identifying and boosting sustainable market and investment opportunities. Demand-driven, problem-focused action groups are sharing knowledge between the identified stakeholders and networks at all levels to identify and address vulnerabilities effectively.
Water and climate change research and social innovation (R&I) cooperation between Africa and Europe is being reinforced through a combination of forward-looking and bottom-up innovation and road mapping techniques. AfriAlliance is also identifying demands, opportunities, and constraints at different levels and develop strategic advice (short term demand-driven R&I outlook and long term R&I agenda) for improving Africa-EU collaboration. This is helping policy makers to create a consistent approach to bilateral cooperation between Africa and the EU in the field of innovation for water and climate.
One of the innovative aspects of AfriAlliance is the multiple information source gathering approach for the purpose of water resources monitoring and forecasting. The inventory is based on a triple-sensor approach, looking into the capacity and efforts on human sensors (citizens, geo-crowdsourcing and communications), physical in-situ sensors (like weather station-based meteorological and ground-based water resource and hydrological networks such as stream gauging, groundwater, etc.) and space-based satellite sensors.
The content of these sources is described by metadata in the AfriAlliance geodata portal. It allows users to enter descriptions for all types of data, including satellite data, in-situ sensor data, citizen data, models, etc. and search for it. In this way, geodata sharing is stimulated between stakeholders in the AfriAlliance network.