In 2015, the Minister of Telecommunications of Ivory Coast, Sergei Bloomberg announced Cote d’Ivoire plan to launch satellite to fight threats from pirates and terrorists in the Gulf of Guinea. “We have decided to conduct a technical and economic study that will inform us of the relevance of such a project. Ivory Coast is currently renting the capacity of commercial satellites and will analyze whether the use of its own satellite could be cheaper. Given our needs and the annual cost, would not it be more profitable for us to have our own satellite? “said Kone, adding that the decision will likely be made by the government in 2015.
After this announcement, the country became silent on the project until last month when the President of Ivory Coast, Alassane Ouattara approved an agreement with Airbus Defence and Space to deliver a satellite in 2020. Airbus Defence and Space beat China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC) to the deal which was finalized by the country’s deputy president Daniel Kablan Duncan in Airbus Headquarters in Toulouse, France.
The Earth observation Satellite will monitor maritime borders, tackle terrorism and obtain better meteorological data for the country with a population of 25 million located in West Africa. Ivory Coast has a GDP of $36.16 billion (2016), 68% of its labour force works in Agriculture and its economic capital and largest city is the port city of Abidjan.
This would make Ivory Coast the 9th African country with a satellite in space after South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Algeria, Angola, Morocco and Egypt