by Ishan Singh
Africa has become home to conflicts, where thousands and thousands of people are being killed, murdered, raped and assaulted on a daily basis. African is currently going through their worst period. The space industry is a high return strategic sector which in future will provide a great benefit to the whole of Africa. However, the space industry is having turbulence in growing at a higher pace due to Africa’s societal issues.
In fact, Africa is a burgeoning giant in the space industry. In the recent years, African Space Industry had a tremendous growth rate with the countries like China, Russia, Japan, France and the European Union are coming forward to help Africa in the growth of its space sector. African Space Industry has reached over $7 Billion and the projected growth rate is placed at 7.3 per cent compound annual growth. The strategic preference given to space industry will absolutely be in the interest of African and will result in the immense growth of the economy. Ethiopia launched its first satellite ETRSS-1 in 2019, which made Ethiopia the 11th country in Africa to put a satellite in space.
The focal point of space exploration for African countries is to reach the mass through technology and create a sustainable industry. In 2019, the African space sector launched eight satellite which broke the previous record of seven launches in 2017. Furthermore, the African continent has fourteen space agencies out of which Algeria, Kenya and South Africa are the only countries who are a key part of UNOOSA.
The demand in the interest of space activity is observed due to the increase in national budget allocation and investment in the exploration of space and launch of satellites. The formulation of the framework for the space industry will provide persuasive and convenient structure for the proper use of space by both the governmental and non-governmental/ private sector agencies for the welfare of the people.
Impact of outer space exploration
The overall development and peaceful use of outer space will put a huge impact on Africa. Most of the African countries are a member state of UNCOPOUS-UNOOSA which compels them to the peaceful use of outer space. Till date, African nations have launched a forty-one satellite in outer space for the interest of its people and socio-economic development. The Outer Space exploration will incorporate following benefit-
- Global Economy- Africa being one of the most populous continents has the ability to move the global economy through technology, business, private entities and global investment used in outer space exploration.
- Social Development- Space has no room for social discrimination. Those working in space exploration will use this method to end such kind of discrimination and promote social development.
- Sustainable Development Goals– Outer Space exploration will be the key to achieve the sustainable development goals. Earth observation is a cost-effective way obtaining unbiased data.
- Global Communication- The communication satellite is used to create a communication channel between transmitter and receiver and also helps in global communication in general.
- Scientific Research- One of the best uses of space exploration is to conduct scientific research. Observatory satellite is used pertaining to scientific research and which leads in such advancement. It will pave a path for a systematic investigation on space research.
- Resettlement of Internally Displaced People- Placing a satellite in space for resettlement of the internally displaced people can be the best use of space exploration for Africa as there are almost 18 million such people.
- Climate Change and Environment Protection- Climate change is affecting Africa is the worst way it can and to curb such mishappening a satellite can be very useful for tracking down such changes and use method to prevent climate changes.
- Territorial Sovereignty- To protect Africa from the invasion of armed rebellion group a GPS based satellite can be helpful by tracking their movement and preventing them from attacking.
- Privatization of Space- While in the course of space exploration the government headed space agency confers some space or room to private agencies
Africa as a continent has the potential and capability to deliver great in terms of outer space exploration. For the progress and advancement of the space industry in Africa, it has to make some fundamental changes by the introduction of principle formalised African space agency. The vision to reach the pinnacle of sustainable development is being given by the international organisation.