Côte d’Ivoire Organises Workshop Towards Establishing National Space Agency

Participants at the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research's workshop

The Ivorian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research has organised a workshop for appropriating draft texts toward establishing an Ivorian Space Agency (ASI). The workshop held on July 28 and 29, 2022, in the council room of the Félix Houphouët Boigny University of Cocody. This workshop was necessary as Space conquest is a strategic necessity for development and protection. Furthermore, space observation tools (nanosatellites, drones, etc.) are crucial for economic development and territory security.

The workshop began with Professor Adama Diawara, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, urging the participants to have more “flexibility in the discussions”. He noted that “the political decision-makers are waiting for us. We have no right to disappoint them. The texts must be revisited, updated as soon as possible”, affirming that the Ministry’s scientists “count on the participants” so that “the texts are commensurate with the ambitions set by Côte d’Ivoire”. The minister also invited the presidents of public universities and research centres to update their training curricula.

Professor Adama Diawara, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, speaking at the Workshop

Also in attendance was Dr Tidianne Ouattara, Space Science Expert at the African Union Commission. He delivered a framing presentation identifying the challenges of establishing a national space agency. According to him, “the African landscape is a cross-market of satellites”. More than a hundred persons participated in the workshop. The participants were from several technical ministries, research centres and institutes. The Ivorian Space Agency will derive inspiration from the texts of about thirty space agencies.

Dr Tidianne Ouattara speaking at the Workshop

The Minister had previously announced that Côte d’Ivoire is setting up its national space agency during the second GMES and Africa Continental Forum. According to him, the agency will be under the Ministry of High Education and Scientific Research. Furthermore, the nation will strategically partner with AUC and the EU to set up the agency properly.