The African Space Strategy is available online

This strategy has been developed to advance an indigenous space sector and provides direction for a formal African space programme. The strategy is aligned to Africa’s aspirations and is premised upon the following core principles.

Africa is facing serious challenges in ensuring adequate provision of basic necessities, such as food, shelter, a clean and healthy environment, and proper education, for its growing population. Howbeit, Africa is slowly awakening to the benefits that space science and technology provide in addressing these challenges. 

If Africa is to leapfrog towards “An integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena”, then bold steps must be taken towards building the indigenous capability and skills required for self-sufficiency and sustained progress. Many of the technological developments required to address the multitude of socio-economic challenges holding this continent back cannot be outsourced. Africa has significant potential for growth compared to the developed world, and this potential should be used to create a prosperous future for all. The commitments and investments we make now will set future generations free if we show real political, economic and social ambition.

The convenient lifestyle and high standard of living in the developed world are supported by the instant access to information and space-based applications, such as instantaneous television coverage and navigation services. Even the provision of basic commodities such as food and energy resources is facilitated by space-based technology. In addition, space-based solutions are necessary for the effective management of resources such as water, forests, marine ecosystems, and agriculture. Given this reality, it is inconceivable that so many of Africa’s space-derived services and products are outsourced. 

The strategy is aligned to Africa’s aspirations and is premised upon the following core principles:
  1. Development of the services and products required to respond effectively to the socio-economic needs of the continent.
  2. Development of indigenous capacity to operate and maintain core space capabilities.
  3. Development of an industrial capability that is able to translate innovative ideas from research and development into the public and commercial sectors.
  4. Coordination of space activities across member states and regions to minimize duplication, but maintaining sufficient critical mass.
  5. Fostering international cooperation within Africa and with the rest of the world as a means of realizing the full value proposition of the space sector.

The implementation of this strategy is important if we are to transform Africa’s resource-based economies into the knowledge-based economies to which we aspire. The space sector is not only a high-end technology sector but also provides the tools required for effective decision making in the management of our natural resources and providing essential communications links, especially to our rural communities. We are therefore at an important juncture, where decisions pertaining to formalizing an African space programme will have long-term sustainable benefits, which will help this great continent realize its social and economic potential across public and private sectors.

The full document of the African Space Strategy is accessible here