Eight Africans Selected as Part of 30 IAF ESL Grant Awardees for 2022

The International Astronautical Federation (IAF) has disclosed the 30 brilliant students and young professionals chosen by the IAF Emerging Space Leaders Sub-Committee to receive a grant and participate in the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Paris, France, later this year. Of the 30 selected individuals who received the grant, eight are Africans, including Space in Africa’s very own Senior Analyst, Adewale Adelanwa. The winners will consequently travel to Paris in September 2022 to participate in the IAC. As a result, they will have the opportunity to extend their network, gain knowledge and meet space experts

Meet the African grant winners

Adewale Adelanwa :

Adewale is a Senior Analyst and consultant at Space in Africa. He graduated first class and top of his class from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH). He got his BSc in pure and applied physics. Adewale is a researcher and market intelligence analyst covering the African space industry. He develops reports encompassing data-driven analysis, feasibility studies, and industry landscape which open clients (private and public space organizations) to new opportunities. Additionally, he provides consulting services for satellite development programs, including recommending state-of-the-art satellite technology, launch opportunities, and commercialization of satellites.

Adewale believes that international cooperation in space is the second global initiative that unites the World after football, where different nations come together to achieve a common goal. In addition, he believes that international cooperation is a vital key and opportunity for non-space faring nations (e.g, developing African countries) that do not possess the wherewithal (financial, technical capacity) to develop their space program.

Tensae Ali :

Immersed in the concept of Space Science and Engineering at a young age, Tensae derived himself to take part in the space sector aided by wisdom and leadership. He is a Mechanical Engineering graduate from Mekelle University. He is currently working as the Regional Coordinator for Africa at the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC). He has worked as SGAC’s Regional and Local Events Coordination Team and as the National point of contact for Ethiopia. Furthermore, he has Co-Chaired the Executive Mekelle Branch office of the Ethiopian Space Science Society (ESSS) at the national level.

Malkia Kelelue :

Ms Malkia Kelelue is an Astrophysicist from Kenya. She is also a children’s educator who is passionate about creating avenues for young people in Africa to have adequate access and exposure to opportunities in the Space sector. Malkia has a BSc in Astronomy and Astrophysics from the University of Nairobi. In addition, she is the first female Space Science and Astronomy officer at the Kenya Space Agency. She recently graduated from the Development in Africa with Radio Astronomy basic training programme supported by the Newton Fund in March 2022.

Bildad Chege Njenga :

Bildad holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from Masinde Muliro University in Kenya. He had been a software developer working in the private sector until he joined the Kenya Space Agency in September 2020. Bildad had the privilege to extend his career to the Space Sector, where he worked on several platforms such as the Google Earth Engine, the Open Data cube and Jupyter notebooks alongside applications development and other core ICT functions in the agency. As a result, he is delighted to be part of the IAF ESL grant program to share the projects he has been working on.

Ramson Nyamukondiwa :

Ramson is a Senior Space Research Scientist at the Zimbabwe National Geospatial and Space Agency (ZINGSA). He was previously a lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe. He holds a Master’s degree in Electronics and Information Engineering from Chonbuk National University in South Korea. Ramson obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Electronics Engineering from the University of Tlemcen in Algeria. As a result, Ramson is currently pursuing his PhD studies in Electrical and Space Systems Engineering at Kyushu Institute of Technology (Kyutech). Furthermore, he is part of the Laboratory of Lean Satellite Enterprises and In-Orbit Experiments (LaSEINE).

Didunoluwa Obilande :

Didun is from Wales, UK, having been born in Nigeria. He is a Doctoral student at Luleå University of Technology. Here, he researches Design and Qualification of Additive Manufacturing (AM) for Space Applications. He holds an MSc in Astronautics and Space Engineering from Cranfield University. Didun was a recipient of the Royal Academy of Engineering and RAeS MSc Award. Furthermore, he obtained a Joint UKSA-ESA scholarship to attend the International Space University’s Space Studies Program; hosted by NASA Glenn Research Centre in Ohio, USA. Likewise, Didun recently won the best poster prize for “Surface Roughness Considerations in Design for Additive Manufacturing” at the Swedish Arena for AM of Metals Academic Conference 2022.

Peter Okello :

Mr Peter Okello is a graduate of the University of Nairobi in Kenya with a BSc in Geospatial Engineering. He is a GIS expert currently working at the Kenya Space Agency as a Remote Sensing officer. He works with the Agency to help promote the use of Geospatial technologies in satellite data analysis and GIS mapping. Mr Okello is also the lead GIS scriptwriting and mapping under the Agency’s Earth Observation program on Monitoring for Information and Decisions Using Space Technology (MIDST) project. The project aims to utilize GIS resources to co-develop Earth Observation products with stakeholders from various sectors.

Sara Sabry:

Sara Sabry is the first female Egyptian Analog Astronaut and is the founder and executive director of Deep Space Initiative. It is a non-profit company that aims to increase accessibility and opportunity in the space field. Sabry is a Mechanical (B.Sc.) and Biomedical (M.Sc.) Engineer, with experiences that span Mechatronics and Robotic Surgery, and Stem Cell Development and Bioastronautics. After her studies, Sara worked at a Tech Startup in Berlin on Augmented Reality mobile applications. This Fall, she will begin her PhD in Aerospace Sciences at The University of North Dakota. Her research will focus on engineering the next generation of planetary spacesuits. Along with her studies, she plans to begin her private pilot license, as well as continue her astronaut training.

You can get more information about the winners here.