“Today we officially launch ZASpace Inc., a platform for coordinating space activities and initiatives with our local space industry. SANSA is excited to be a partner in this important initiative,” SANSA CEO, Valanathan Munsami, tweeted earlier in the day.
ZASpace, as a central hub of South Africa’s space industry, will wear many hats. However, its primary role includes coordinating industry activities and marketing the local industry to boost investment and engagement with the government.
The hub will champion a drive for international partnerships on behalf of the South African space industry while enabling local intra-industry collaboration. Regard it as South Africa’s space-focused innovation hub, as popular with tech hubs across Africa’s growing innovation and startup clusters in Nairobi, Lagos, Cairo and Cape Town.
However, its appears ZASpace is beyond the description of a typical technology hub.
“ZASpace Inc, together with SANSA, is bringing all of the potentials that geospatial intelligence promises to our own country. Our aim is to enable everyone – from TV studios to supermarkets to construction companies, government and academia – to take full advantage of the digitalization and digital transformation opportunities it presents,” a statement on the platform’s websites notes.
Going by information on ZASpaceinc.Org, the platform seems to have a primary focus on the geospatial ecosystem. The platform’s motto reads “uniting and expanding South Africa’s geospatial ecosystem.”
The platform describes itself as an inclusive community of business, government and academic institutions around the South African National Space Agency and the country’s space assets that will advance the South African geospatial industry.
“ZASpace will demystify space for business – developing skills and funding innovation to propel the growth of the sector across the continent. Together we are creating a business ecosystem around SANSA, to make space resources and markets more accessible for all participants.” the website reads.
South Africa is reportedly ranked 31 in Geospatial Readiness and Africa has a predicted 21% growth. ZASpace was set up to seize the opportunity to maximize South Africa’s space assets and increase the country’s geospatial readiness, a tweet by SANSA explains.
This is a developing story. Space in Africa will bring you more details about ZASpace Inc in a follow-up story. For now, you can follow the #ZASpace hashtag on Twitter for real-time updates at the launch event.
Joseph Ibeh is a Mandela Washington Fellow and Senior Analyst at Space in Africa. His experience spans industry research and market analysis with a focus on African-grown NewSpace companies, commercial space industry, national space programmes and real-life application of space science for sustainable development in Africa.