On the 9th of January, 2023, the Republic of Djibouti signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Hong Kong Aerospace Technology Group Limited and Touchroad International Holdings Group to develop an international commercial spaceport in the northern Obock Region of Djibouti. This serves as a preliminary agreement between the parties to build a spaceport which is expected to comprise seven satellite launch pads and three rocket testing pads. The project is estimated to cost around USD 1 billion and is expected to take five years to complete.
Terms of the MOU
- Parties are expected to sign a formal contract with the Republic of Djibouti Spaceport;
- The signing of the formal contract will be held in March 2023; and
- The government of Djibouti is expected to provide the necessary land (minimum 10 square kilometres with a lease that runs for a minimum of 35 years.
Furthermore, the agreement provides for the final concession of the infrastructure to the Djiboutian government after 30 years of co-management.
The agreement reflects Djibouti’s commitment to space cooperation through public-private partnerships. Last year the country announced the space programme is working on launching two satellites named the Djibouti 1A and Djibouti 1B. In these ventures, Djibouti engaged the ministry with the Van Allen foundation to develop technologies to aid the nation’s sustainable development goals. Moreover, these projects were inaugurated to facilitate human capacity development by sending ten engineers to the University Space Centre of Montpellier, France, to learn about several aspects of small satellite development.