Excerpt from the 15th European Space Conference: Promoting and Leveraging the Partnerships between Africa and Europe

Source: Space4water

The 15th European Space Conference, themed, Securing Europe’s Future in Space, was held between 24 – 25 January 2023 in Brussels, Belgium. The conference was attended by several dignitaries, including Dr Tidianne Ouattara, Space Science Expert and Coordinator of the GMES Programme and Africa representing the African Union Commission, and Dr Joly, Coordinator of the ClimSa Programme. In addition, the representatives of both governments were invited to participate in the forum’s bilateral meetings and interact with European partners.

The conference featured various sessions and created the opportunity for exchanging knowledge, debates, informal meetings and networking events. For example, sessions 3 and 4 highlighted how the present geopolitical landscape, economic transformations, and industrial and technological innovations are shaping the reality of the European space sector. 

Furthermore, session 14, which focused on intensifying space cooperation between Europe, Africa, and Latin America, featured Dr Tidianne Ouattara, Coordinator of the GMES Programme, African Union Commission; Bryan Dean, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder, Dragonfly Aerospace; Manuel Heitor, Chairperson and Coordinator, k4P Alliances, Portugal; and Tomasz Husak, Adviser Digital Agenda and Data Technologies, European Commission, amongst others.

According to Tomasz Husak, Adviser Digital Agenda and Data Technologies, European Commission, in contributing to the growth of the African space ecosystem, the European Commission (EU) is acting towards establishing an EU Africa flagship program entailing three pillars. The first of the pillars entails the establishment of a  partnership that involves the Commission assisting the newly-launched African space agency in operating. In addition, the second pillar involves growing industrial capacity. In contrast, the third pillar emphasises creating a sustainable environment and business ecosystems for African startups and accelerators to accelerate the growth of African countries and businesses.

On the sidelines, Dr Tidianne discussed the achievements and impacts of existing space cooperation between Europe and Africa over 20 years. Furthermore, he underscored the importance of understanding Africa and Europe’s socio-political and economic realities to translate challenges, impacts, and lessons of previous engagements into commendable results for both continents.

Visit here to listen to the complete session and learn about the partnership’s success stories over the last 20 years.


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