SADC Kickstarts Implementation of Satellite Sharing Program, Creates Project Management office

Data Sharing: SADC
Photo Credit: Angola Press

The use of satellite technology is an important element of the SADC region’s ICT strategy. Currently, there is a great dependence on foreign satellite services that are beyond the reach of many SADC Member States, despite their importance in improving communication, broadcasting, navigation, meteorology, resource research services, among others. To make the most of the opportunities presented by ‘Satellite Technology’ for business and sustainable development, a clear and predictable program for the region is lagging behind.

 

Realizing the urgent need for the region to respond to developments in satellite technology or the risk of being left behind and economically marginalized, in 2017, SADC ICT ministers urged Member States to establish a SADC Committee of Satellite Experts to develop the SADC Satellite Sharing Program.

With the SADC region lagging behind in exploring the vast opportunities presented by satellite technology in the area of ​​communication, navigation, space infrastructure and application development, this policy aims to promote the development and expansion of the use of space technology and its applications for socioeconomic development in SADC.

Considering the state of the SADC reference levels within the orbital space, the policy framework aims to remove barriers to the use of satellite technology and resources, facilitating the recognition and management of satellite resources for the socio-economic development of the region. Noting the lack of investment, research and cooperation in the area of ​​satellite technology in the region, this policy framework aims to promote and expand mutually beneficial cooperation between space research and development agencies, space service and product providers and users in the SADC region. It will also pave the way to explore possibilities for cooperation with entities related to space outside the region.

This policy framework meets the five pillars of the National Space Strategy of Angola, which aims at the development of space infrastructure, the training and promotion of the space sector, the growth of space industry and technologies, the international affirmation of Angola in the space domain and the internal creation of organizational structures that ensure the pursuit of the intended objectives and also with the objectives of sustainable development in the region, which aims to significantly increase access to information and communication technologies and strive to offer universal and affordable access accessible to the internet in the least developed countries.

As part of the implementation of the SADC Satellite Sharing Program and taking into account the resolutions that emerged during the Training Workshop on ICU satellite tools, as well as the discussions on SADC Satellite Sharing in January 2020 in Luanda, in which Angola assumed the leadership of the SADC Satellite Experts Committee and South Africa with the vice-leadership of the same Committee, the creation of a Project Management Office (PMO) was recommended to provide technical assistance to the Directorate and SADC Member States to better monitor the execution of their tasks.

The PMO is a management structure that will standardize the processes related to the SADC Satellite Sharing Program and facilitate the sharing of resources, methodologies and tools. PMOs will define and maintain the standards for managing contracts within the SADC Satellite Sharing Program, for example, identification and analysis of orbital resources, interference analysis and technical assistance in frequency coordination, etc. The PMO will prepare the documentation that will offer guidance on the execution of the action plan and develop the metrics on the practice of its management and its execution. Therefore, it will monitor and report at the highest level the progress of the different actions of the SADC project in ways that promote strategic decision-making.

The team created is composed of Members of the SADC Committee of Experts, a project monitoring team (directors of GGPEN and INFRASAT) and executing technicians from GGPEN and INACOM.

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New Report: The 2020 Edition of African Space Industry Annual Report is now available. It presents data and analyses on projects, deals, partnership and investments across the continent. It also provides analyses on the growing demand for space technologies and data on the continent, the business opportunities it offers and the necessary regulatory environment in the various countries.

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