Africa’s space industry predicted to skyrocket in the next few years

2023-03-19 21:53:50
Africa’s space industry predicted to skyrocket in the next few years

Africa’s space industry has been slow to take off, but it’s predicted to skyrocket in the next few years.

Since the continent’s first satellite launched more than 20 years ago, 44 have been sent into orbit by 13 African countries, according to consultancy Space in Africa. It says a further 125 are being developed by 23 countries, all expected to launch before 2025.

The payoff could be substantial. A 2021 report by the World Economic Forum estimates that data collected from space could unlock $2 billion a year in benefits for Africa.

The report says satellites could address agricultural challenges by measuring crop health, improve water management by monitoring drought, and track tree cover for more sustainable forest management.

In a continent where less than a third of the population has access to broadband, more communication satellites could help people connect to the internet.

Addressing Africa’s challenges

South African startup Astrofica was founded four years ago, providing space consultancy services. It supported the CubeSat program at Cape Peninsula University of Technology, which launched a constellation of maritime satellites for tracking ships along the southern African coast.

Astrofica’s co-founder and CTO, Khalid Manjoo, says the goal of the startup is to use the space industry to address Africa’s challenges — from food security to national security.


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