The Egyptian Space Agency (EgSA) has signed a bilateral space cooperation protocol with the French Space Agency (CENS) during a recently-held joint workshop in Cairo themed: Egypt-France Partnership and Cooperation in Space Science and Technology.
Dr Mohamed Elkoosy, CEO of EgSA and Mr Jean-Yves Le Gal, President of CNES, in the presence of His Excellency Minister Khaled Abdel Ghaffar, Egypt’s Minister of Scientific Research and Higher Education, signed the cooperation protocol for satellite developments, training and exploration of outer space, according to a media release by EgSA.
Commenting on the new partnership, Abdel Ghaffar said, “the protocol is very important for cooperation between Egypt and France in the field of space science and technology. There has been fruitful cooperation in the past in many fields between Egypt and France.”
“The French Space Agency is considered the second most important space agency in the world and this is an opportunity that we gain experiences through this protocol from them, and this is not the first time that we cooperate with France, and the French Space Agency offered cooperation with Egypt in the manufacture of a satellite, training and outer space exploration,” ElKoosy said.
Jean-Yves Le Gal commended Egypt’s leadership in Africa and applauded the North African country’s effort in hosting the African Space Agency. He described Egypt as the gateway to Africa’s emerging space endeavours while noting that the recent cooperation is not the first bilateral space cooperation between both nations; Egypt had earlier collaborated with France in launching the NileSat communications satellite programme.
Jean-Yves Le Gal invited EgSA CEO and his team to France and to discuss further cooperation in satellite developments between the two countries. Such cooperation, according to him, will be beneficial to the African Space Agency which will be hosted in Egypt.
Egypt’s space sector is growing rapidly with renewed government commitment to develop and domesticate space capabilities. The government on March 5 announced a 10-year National Space Programme aimed at developing indigenous capabilities in satellite development, applications in space weather, Earth observation and climate risk mitigation, the growth of the nation’s space industry.
Egypt plans to collaborate with countries that have established space capabilities to achieve the goals set in the new national space programme. Signing bilateral cooperation with France, a look-time ally in Egypt’s space endeavours, fits into the goal contained in the new space plan.
Joseph Ibeh is a Mandela Washington Fellow and Senior Analyst at Space in Africa. His experience spans industry research and market analysis with a focus on African-grown NewSpace companies, commercial space industry, national space programmes and real-life application of space science for sustainable development in Africa.