Powering growth and security through EU Space data in Africa
16 November 2022
On 6 and 7 September 2022, Pretoria was the scene of this year’s biggest Space-related event in the continent on “Current and future opportunities for EU-Africa cooperation in the Space domain”; African and European space stakeholders met to further reinforce the existing EU-Africa cooperation in space through a series of themed sessions while setting the stage for future partnerships in new areas.
The European Union and Africa are longstanding partners in the space domain. Examples of notable joint initiatives include the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) and Africa, or the SBAS for Africa and Indian Ocean programme. These two initiatives respectively provide the African continent with Earth Observation data and EU Space technology for the development of a Satellite Based Augmentation System to achieve safer aviation routes and operations.
But cooperation does not halt there. Our event in Pretoria enabled representatives from the two continents to stress less known, but nonetheless crucial facts for a successful cooperation projected towards the future.
The importance of research for the development of key applications was highlighted with a mention to the Africa Initiative of Horizon Europe, which offers capacity-building opportunities to Africa.
One example of partnership that looks at the future is the one emerging from the new space-based Secure Connectivity Initiative, which will provide reliable, secure, and cost-effective connection in Africa to rural areas and areas with sparse terrestrial infrastructure for connectivity.
The vertical approach, however, needs to be complemented by a horizontal approach with the private sector at its centre. The stakeholders present in Pretoria agreed that the European and African industrial ecosystems would also benefit from direct Business-to-Business agreements. New Space and traditional companies or public organizations which wish to employ advanced EU space data will find fertile ground for growth in the Business Coaching services offered on a free basis by the EU Global Action on Space. By registering, entities will be able to network and find unique advice from our experts on how to internationalise their business. Other benefits include the participation in tailored trainings and networking & matchmaking sessions.
The EU Global Action on Space will continue to provide unique opportunities to companies, public organisations and academics from the European Union and the target regions to strengthen international cooperation in space.
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