Leaders of Space Agencies in Africa: Angola

    Zolana Rui Joao; General Manager GGPEN

    Angola’s Space Agency operates under the Ministry of Telecommunications, Information and Social Communication Technologies (MINTTICS). The agency is called Gabinete de Gestão do Programa Espacial Nacional (GGPEN) or National Space Program Management Office. The agency successfully launched Angola’s first satellite AngoSat-1, in 2017, and promises to launch AngoSat-2 in 2022.

    The General Director at GGPEN, Mr Zolana Rui Joao received his MTech degree in Electrical Engineering from the Tshwane University of Technology (former Technikon Pretoria) in Pretoria, South Africa, and also received an MSc degree in Electrical Engineering from the French South African Institute of Technology and École Supérieure d’Ingénieurs en Électronique et Électrotechnique (ESIEE) Paris, France. He has also completed the Engineering Management graduate course program with the George Washington University.

    Mr. Joao discussing the Angolan Space Program at the Head of Emerging Countries Panel at the 70th International Astronautical Congress in Washington DC.

    Mr Joao has been managing GGPEN since January 2014, overseeing projects such as the construction and launch of the first Angolan Satellite (ANGOSAT-1) in 2017, the construction of a brand new satellite mission and control centre capable of operating three satellites simultaneously. He has also aided human capacity building in space engineering programs for more than 60 engineers (including PhDs, Masters, and Bachelors), raised 45 Angolan engineers certified by the Russian Space Agency as satellite operators. In recent times, he has helped the agency to build partnerships and joint training programs with specialists of some the most prestigious Institutions and Universities all over the world such as RSC Energia (Russia), Airbus DS and Thales Alenia (France), TSTI and the MIT (USA), and Universities of Tokyo and Nihon (Japan).

    Despite his commitments to the GGPEN, he also serves as Administrador Não Executivo/Non-Executive Board Member at Angolan Institute of Communications (INACOM) on Part-time basis, where he contributes to regulation and supervision of the Angolan Communication Market.



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    New Report: The African space economy is now worth USD 7 billion and is projected to grow at a 7.3% compound annual growth rate to exceed USD 10 billion by 2024. Read the executive summary of the African Space Industry Report - 2019 Edition to learn more about the industry. You can order the report online.


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