In collaboration with its sponsors and partners, the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) held the 4th African Space Generation Workshop (AF-SGW) on February 25–26, 2021, at the GIMPA Conference Hall Accra, Ghana.
The 4th AF-SGW ought to have held in November 2020, but it was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Hence, a call for a hosting city has been put out for the 5th AF-SGW. The call is open to SGAC members in the African region. But countries that have hosted a major SGAC regional event in the past three years cannot bid again. These include Ethiopia, Ghana, Mauritius, and Nigeria.
The 4th AF-SGW was themed, “A United Africa for Space Innovation: A Step Towards Our Common Future”. It was a hybrid event: attendees who couldn’t travel to Ghana to attend in-person joined virtually. It was also streamed live on the SGAC Youtube channel.
The crème de la crème of the African and global space industry attended the 4th AF-SGW. The two-day event featured eight keynote addresses, several presentations and panel sessions. While Space Generation streamed the whole nine hours of the first day live on Youtube, they streamed only four hours of the second day.
Keynote addresses were given by:
- Dr Mahama Ouedraogo, Director of Human Resources, Science and Technology at the African Union Commission
- Juan de Dalmau, President of the International Space University
- Dr Miguel Bello, CEO of Atlantic International Research Centre
- Ricardo Conde, President of the Portuguese Space Agency
- Professor Melvin Hoare, Project Lead of the Development in Africa with Radio Astronomy
- Dr Timiebi Aganaba-Jeanty, Assistant Professor at the Arizona State University
- Peter Martinez, Executive Director of the Secure World Foundation
- Charles-aimé Nzeussi Mbouendeu, Deputy Event Manager of the 4th AF-SGW Organising Team
Dr Bello keynote address was on international collaboration in Earth observation for sustainability. During his speech, he announced that plans are underway to launch the Africa AIR Centre to foster this continent’s collaboration.
The panel sessions also addressed different topical issues, including the focus of Africa’s space efforts, capacity building, the private sector’s role in the space industry, and women in space.
The panellists include:
- Mohamed el Quosi, CEO of the Egyptian Space Agency
- Valanathan Munsami, CEO of SANSA
- Dr Francis Dubem Chiaza, acting DG of the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASDRA), represented by Dr Ikpaya Ikpaya, Head of Payload Systems at NASDRA.
- Dr Yeshurun Alemayehu, Deputy DG of the Ethiopian Space Science & Technology Institute
- Samuel Dampare, Deputy Director of the Ghana Space Science and Technology Institute
- Vangiliya Pereira, DG for the Technical and Scientific Area of the Angolan Management Office for the National Space Programme
- Agnes Kobusinge, GNSS Operation Expert at EGNOS Africa Joint Programme Office
- Rania Toukebri, Regional Coordinator of SGAC in Africa
- Aderonke Obafaye, Scientific Officer at NASDRA
The panellists submitted that the space efforts of African countries should align with their needs and development priorities. And suggested that cubesats are best suited for enhancing capacity building. Similarly, the panellists said the promotion of downstream applications that benefit the average person would attract more investors interested in the space industry.
The sponsors and partners of the 4th AF-SGW also gave presentations showcasing their services. The presenters include Deborah Sass and Thomas Reemer, co-founders of Space Hero; Luciano Geisso, Latin America Sales Director of Satellogic, Dewald Llyod, Head of Aerospace Group; and Allen Herbert, VP Business Development of Nanoracks.