NewSpace in Africa
Take-Off Flight to Innovation, Exploration, Transformation
Salon: NewSpace in Africa
October 18, 2023
Space Congress, Berlin
With a new space agency and an upcoming space port on the continent, the African space industry is capturing global attention. Its growth holds promise for international cooperation, making Africa an indispensable partner in the global space race. As part of the Space Congress, we discuss the motivation behind the increasing commitment in the African space industry and explore how a joint effort between Europe and Africa can mutually benefit the neighboring continents.
Being the continent of innovation and leapfrogging, Africa has a choice in whom to partner with. The continent is already deeply engaged in space activities, though not in a classical sense, through launch sites and rockets. Rather, “NewSpace in Africa is about data and AI”, says Martin Polak.
The abundant resources of the African continent are still underutilized. One of which is human capital. By 2030, 42 percent of global youth will be African. Accordingly, NewSpace should be leveraged with this growing, digital affine population on the continent.
NewSpace is a corner stone for socio-economic development. It can function as an equalizer as it offers opportunity for both, emerging market economies as well as advanced economies. Therefore, collaboration and moving together in co-development are key. Aaron Nzau says: „We don’t want a donor-recipient relationship of the past. We want to be part of the puzzle.”
OldSpace vs. NewSpace
NewSpace is a reflection of ‘Old Space’, meaning there is risk of already established countries “becoming monopolists in space technology and innovation”, warns Kwaku Sumah. Thus, innovation should be responsible. Economic benefit, social value and prestige as well as the capability and the ease with which benefit is expressed need to be considered.
NewSpace in Africa - Take-Off Flight to Innovation, Exploration, Transformation
Dialogue on European-African cooperation at BDI Space Congress
Rhoda Berger, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sabrina Rupprecht, email@example.com
BDI Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie
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