The African space race is expanding, and from the look of things, Cameroon-Nigeria’s eastbound neighbour- is making concrete plans to join the fray by launching its first feasibility studies project for space programme.
The project, purportedly known as Camspace, was inaugurated by the country’s Minister of Posts and Telecommunications, Minette Libom Li Likeng, on July 17, 2019, by signing a document detailing the organisation and functioning of the group that conducts the studies.
The said group will provide data on the country’s ability to conduct such programmes. It will also investigate the deployment processes of satellite networks, as well as the necessary human resources, the required environmental impact assessment, the cost of a national space programme, and the potential benefits & economic viability of the said programme.
The working group comprises of experts drawn from over twenty administrations and institutions in the higher education, telecommunications, research; agriculture, health, environment mining, and technology sectors .
According to Minette Minette Libom Likeng, the group will be dissolved once the study report is submitted to the Ministry of Communications. This submission is expected to be made within a period of two months after the report is validated by the inter-ministerial commission for frequency bands’ allocation.
It would be interesting to see how the Central African nation goes about finding a place, and taking concrete steps in Africa’s evolving space ecosystem. While there’s some catching up to do, it’s really never too late to join the space train, and whether it’s premature to say “Welcome on board, Cameroon!” is a matter of conjecture.