Russian Space Companies to Offer Support to Boost Africa’s Space Technology Development

Alexander Stepanov is the International adviser to Russia Progress Space Rocket Centre. Source: KBC

According to reports by Kenyan news outfit KBC, Alexander Stepanov, the International Adviser to Russian Progress Space Rocket Centre, revealed that distinguished Russian companies in the space industry had expressed their eagerness to extend support and increase investments in Africa, despite the reluctance of many developed countries to do so. He disclosed this during the Russia-Africa Economic and Humanitarian Summit held in St. Petersburg between 27-28 July 2023.

During the summit, Stepanov emphasised that Africa needs adequate education and qualified engineers in space technologies. “Russia aims to collaborate to empower the continent and promote its space industry. The focus of cooperation will include education and training, technology transfer, and the localisation of satellite technology production,” he said.

He added that the main objective is to assist African countries in developing their satellites to address various challenges in agriculture, meteorology, navigation, and telecommunications. The concept of “satellite sharing” is proposed to allow all countries or regions of the continent to benefit from satellite technology.

Stepanov reiterated that Russia’s diplomatic relations with African states have strengthened, opening cooperation and technology-sharing opportunities. “Moscow boasts cutting-edge space technologies already operational in space, including the production of satellites and advanced rocket launchers using natural gas as fuel, making them environmentally friendly and versatile,” he concluded.

Russian Progress Space Rocket Centre has cooperated with several countries in northern Africa, including Algeria, Egypt, and Tunisia, through joint development agreements. Furthermore, Russia is also supporting African students, providing them with opportunities to study at various Russian educational centres.

The collaboration between Russia and African countries in the space industry represents a new phase of regional cooperation, promising to contribute to Africa’s high-tech space sector’s growth and development. By sharing knowledge, technology, and resources, Russia aims to capacitate the continent and foster its self-sufficiency in satellite technology, promoting economic and technological advancement.