Egypt’s House of Representatives, led by Speaker Hanafy Ali El-Gebali, approved during its general session on 21 June presidential decision no 2023/213, greenlighting the country to host the African Space Agency’s headquarters, domiciled within Egypt’s Space City. The agreement, signed in Cairo in January, aims to promote and implement space-related policies and strategies in Africa. Its goal is to utilise technology and its applications to accelerate economic and sustainable development, ultimately improving the well-being of African citizens.
Furthermore, in a statement released by the parliament, the House of Representatives believed that this agreement would support Egypt’s space industry and play a significant role in boosting the national economy by stimulating small enterprises associated with space technology. Additionally, the satellite data the African Space Agency provided will contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and align with Africa’s Agenda 2063.
Establishing the African Space Agency is crucial to fostering knowledge-based development throughout Africa. In May, the Egyptian Cabinet endorsed the decision to host the agency’s headquarters, emphasising that it would enable Egypt to have a solid and influential presence in space science on the continent. Egypt’s advanced technologies in this area were cited as a critical factor in its selection as the host country.
In 2018, the African Union (AU) initiated a bidding process to determine the most suitable country for hosting the headquarters of the newly established continental space entity. In 2019, Professor Sarah Anayang Agbor, the former Commissioner for Human Resources Science and Technology (HRST), announced that an independent high-level panel had shortlisted Egypt, Ethiopia, and Nigeria as potential host countries. After meeting all technical and political requirements, Egypt was chosen as the host country.
On 25 January, the AUC and the Egyptian government, represented by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, signed an agreement to officially inaugurate and declare the African Space Agency (AfSA) open and operational. Thus, AfSA will serve as Africa’s primary hub for collaboration with Europe and other non-African partners. The establishment of AfSA is guided by the African Space Agency Act, which aims to enhance space missions across the continent and ensure optimal access to data, information, services, and products derived from space.