The 8th edition of the African Space Leadership Congress (ASLC) on Space Science and Technology for Sustainable Development has been scheduled to take place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from December 2 to December 4, 2019. This year’s congress, themed “Prospects and Challenges of African Space Development”, is aimed at capitalising efforts of African nations on space technologies to address key socioeconomic challenges and harnessing the opportunities that space science and technology could provide.
The main focus areas of this congress are: assessment of space programs in Africa, space research and development; space policy, strategy and implementation; and participation of the youth and women in aerospace. Other issues like African voices towards equity in utilisation of space resources, space commerce and entrepreneurship, space for peace and diplomacy as well as collaboration in space will also be discussed. The congress will serve as a primary and empirical platform for political leaders, space agencies, space vendors, entrepreneurs, scientists, engineers and technologists, regional and international space institutions to address major issues. It will also link and network Africa with the rest of the world and allow the showcasing of space products and services.
The core objectives of the congress include:
- Promoting the benefits of space science and technology among political leaders, decision makers, academia and researchers, space vendors, and the youth and women convening to the congress;
- Identifying major challenges in implementing space programs in Africa;
- Encouraging regional and intra-Africa cooperation in space science and technology;
- Inspiring the youth and encouraging women’s contribution in building the future Africa space industry;
- Stimulating space commerce and entrepreneurship in contributing towards meeting the SDGs, GDP growth, and ensuring sustainable space industry in the continent; and
- Strengthening the congress and its activities through adoption of the constitution and other regulations.
The 8th ASLC is expected to have about 200 participants, including distinguished professionals, politicians, business people and companies of the space industry, youths and women from all African countries and international collaborating nations, as well as the public and private space institutions. The congress is expected to come forth with an adopted constitution that will govern the members, the congress and the secretariat; a resolution that contains fundamental decisions and directions for future action, proceedings of the congress and the way forward and recommendations for member countries; African space institutions, vendors and the global space community. The ASLC will also create business opportunities to expand the market for Africa’s space industry.
The discussion points that will be dealt with in this congress are chosen to be aligned with the theme of the meeting that gives emphasis to the prospects of the space sector and the challenges to be overcome in Africa. Some of the major topics that will be given prime focus in the main session include:
- The current status of space programs in Africa;
- Space policies, strategies and implementation;
- Space coordination and collaboration among AU member countries, and internationally;
- The role of space in overcoming African challenges and achievement of SDGs and technology; and
- Innovation and entrepreneurship in Space.
The congress is being hosted and organised by the Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute, in collaboration with the Ethiopian Ministry of Innovation and Technology, Ethiopian Space and Science Society, African Union and East Africa Regional Office of Astronomy for Development.
The ASLC (formerly the ALC) was established in 2005 in Nigeria by political leaders and scientists of a few African countries, with the aim of creating partnerships to realise the aspiration of African countries in using space science and technology to support Africa’s development. Since then, it has been instrumental in creating space-oriented partnerships between African countries, and has come to be a representative African space forum in the global space community. Furthermore, it helped and encouraged African countries to be active participants in the exploration and use of space for socioeconomic development. It also has initiated and supported launching of an African Resource Management Constellation project.
For more information on this year’s congress, visit http://aslc.essti.gov.et/