AARSE Newsletter June 2020

A bimonthly publication, the AARSE newsletter presents a few of news that made the buzz over the related period and delivers analysis of some of them. 

The June's one recalls first that the 13th AARSE has been moved to 29 March 2021 due to the CoViD pandemic. 

Among other articles, the June newsletter recalls that this year up to six travel scholarships will be awarded to support young African-resident remote sensing practitioners or students to attend the 13th AARSE Conference in Rwanda, that the IEEE Geo-science and Remote Sensing Society (GRSS) has launched three new initiatives open to all remote sensing communities in the Middle-East and North Africa (MENA) area.  

It presents as usual the African Space personality, this time the Prof. Olajide Kufoniyo, and it  delivers a useful survey of the International and African Space conferences to come.  

The newsletter makes also a special focus on how the space sector can contribute to Africa development.  

It recalls that AARSE in collaboration with Springer publications just published a compendium of lectures delivered at its 12th biennial conference with the title Earth Observations and Geo-spatial Science in Service of Sustainable Development Goals.  

It also refers to a paper titled "The status of Earth Observation (EO) & Geo-Information Sciences in Africa - trends and challenges" and recently published in the journal of Geo-spatial Information Science, by Prof Tsehaie Woldai in February this year.  While the space industry currently provides employment to some 15 000 people on the African continent, the author expects this number to exceed 100 000 by the year 2025, witnessing as such the bloom of the sector over Africa, in response to new emerging demands. 

Its editorial and one full page are dedicated to the recent launch of NASA's SpaceX Demo-2 mission - a new era for the human space flight - which consecrates also the key role of the private sector in exploitation of Space. 

Indeed, a major shift in the function of NASA in American human spaceflight, the Obama administration proposed 10 years ago to rely solely on launch vehicles designed, manufactured, and operated by private aerospace companies, with NASA paying for flights for government astronauts. 

This historical decision was undoubtedly a key turn for the world top leader in this domain, and to relaunch the spatial sector in the US and worldwide. 

By extension, it was also the recognition of the key role of the private sector for the development of the Space market. The point was notably captured by the objectives 3 and 5 of the African Union Commission Space Policy, towards Social Political and Economic Integration.