The MarCOSIO project aims to maintain, further develop and provide a sustainable platform for local, institutional, human and technical capabilities in the African partner countries that include Namibia, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa, through the development of services focused on sustainable socio-economic development, empowering a wide range of users in the public and private sectors through the application of regionally-optimised satellite observations and model based forecasts in the South and East African marine and coastal domains.


Through Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) and Africa, the Africa Marine and Coastal Operations for Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean (MarCOSIO) project, will strongly contribute to the implementation of the African Space Policy and Strategy (ASPS) through application of world-leading satellite sensors, e.g. the European Sentinel series, with innovative and regionally optimised products. Examples of ASPS objectives addressed are: developing indigenous infrastructure and capabilities that service an African market; provisioning regionally appropriate services and products; ensuring all levels of government are able to access data through a centralised portal.

The MarCOSIO project is strongly aligned to the South African National Oceans and Coastal Information Management System (OCIMS). OCIMS has consolidated South African observational and forecasting expertise through the development of a range of services that are very similar in scope to those proposed for GMES and Africa. The MarCOSIO project will effectively provide a platform for the regional expansion of the services developed. A key value proposition of OCIMS is the powerful, scalable service development methodology.  This identifies archetypal users, beneficiaries, policies, usage scenarios, as well as functional requirements. This existing knowledge, developed through the implementation of OCIMS, provide rapid and effective mechanisms for service development.

The MarCOSIO projects is strongly focused on providing decision-makers with services and tools in a clearly directed response to sustainable socio-economic development goals; directly linked to national, regional and continental mechanisms, and involving both Southern African Development Community and Indian Ocean Commission Regional Economic Centre, and the South and East Africa GMES and Africa potential Regional Implementation Centres (RICs).

The MarCOSIO project strengthens regional and national capacities to generate and apply Earth Observation (EO) services, as demonstrated by the user-focused Earth Observation service development methods, substantial proposed user engagement and training mechanisms, wide application range multi-sensor and regionally optimised algorithms and products used, and sophisticated Information Technology (IT) and processing/serving capability of the proposed MarCOSIO Information Management System (IMS).

The OCIMS and GMES combined capability is the primary vehicle for the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research’s (CSIR) engagement around regional Blue Economy knowledge-based service development and should be considered an exemplar for research to operational transition in the knowledge economy.


The GMES and Africa MarCOSIO project will provide new co-designed decision-making services to promote sustainable management of marine resources, improve marine governance and stimulate the growth of the blue economy in the South and East African regions.