Egypt last week approved a ten-year plan to develop the country’s Egyptian Space Agency (EgSA), established in August 2019. The EgSA launched a communications satellite in November to provide Egyptians and parts of neighboring countries with mobile coverage and Internet services. Egypt has partnered with China and France to build its space program. Mohamed El-Qosi, CEO of EgSA, has described the agency’s directive as security-focused, though it will also address weather and climate change mitigation efforts. Later this year, the agency will host training sessions for twenty African participants as part of a project to use space technology to better manage greenhouse gas emissions.
Why It Matters
Developing a national aerospace program requires immense brainpower, funding, and material resources to be effective. Egypt’s entry into the global space community through the EgSA shows a growing interest across Africa for the potential that space exploration holds for economic development. An effective space program requires a significant contingent of physicists, engineers, astronauts, satellite operators, technicians, and so many other specialized jobs to run smoothly. Space programs also offer great incentives for international investment. France, having one of the oldest space programs in the world, is slated to help manufacture satellite technology for the EgSA, and similar investments will flow into other African countries as they pursue their own space programs or seek to expand existing ones such as South Africa’s.