Let's have a Glimpse into the African NewSpace Sector

Josua Faleti - Space in Africa interviewed the NewSpace Systems CEO, Mr. James Barrington-Brown. Discover what are the South Africa assets and some of what is limiting the development of the Space sector in Africa.  

Mr Barrington-Brown explains that the preponderance of the NewSpace Companies in South Africa is due to combined factors: An excellent supply chain, a long heritage of space training delivered by the universities, a sharp downstream sector which convert space data into informational services, and also the fact that the SA Space Agency does give access to space data to help develop applications. 

Mr Barrington-Brown says the regulatory environment is not responsible for the growth of NewSpace companies in South Africa, rather that the country bets on the development of private companies even if a government-owned space company potentially makes quite difficult for them to compete.  

We learn that the market is growing rapidly, both market share and product range at the same time, that New Space Systems exports products to 25 countries across 6 continents, would love to be delivering products into Africa, but that the African countries who are buying space assets are not looking within the continent. They prefer to buy space assets with government money to foreign players, China, Russia, UK, France, for example, and this represents a big loss for the development of the Sector. 

However, Mr Brown considers there is some hope at the other end of the market, with the space research in universities, the CubeSats built by Ghana, Kenya, Namibia and many more. And he explains that there is only a few years before there are opportunities in Africa. He supports 100% the development of an Africa-first industry. He expects that the African Space Agency will encourage and support indigenous African technology development, which will ultimately lead to exports.

Very interestingly,  and even if it is just not a market New Space Systems is part of, Mr Brown reckons there are many opportunities for services in Africa using space data processing, forestry, agriculture, security, maritime, that are needed throughout Africa.  

The core activity of GMES and Africa is the development of EO based African services, to better manage natural resources, limit their degradations, support decision making, through the funding of grants to 12 consortia, 8 working on land and water applications, and 4 on Coastal and Marine applications.    

NewSpace Systems (NSS) is an advanced manufacturer of robust satellite subsystems and components. NSS is particularly strong in the area of Attitude Determination and Control Solutions (ADCS). The NewSpace company, based in South Africa predominantly focuses on excelling in the operational constellation market. NewSpace Systems is a trusted supplier of components and subsystems to the International spacecraft market. The company focuses on commercial constellations providing new services in communications and Earth observation. NSS are particularly well-recognised for their Attitude control products More

Source: Space in Africa