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Space sector representatives from four African countries currently touring the UK

5th December 2023

By: Rebecca Campbell

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

     

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Space innovators, entrepreneurs and government officials from Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda and South Africa are currently in the UK to meet their British counterparts, to exchange insights and investigate collaboration and partnership opportunities. The visit has been organised by Innovate UK (Britain’s national innovation agency) and (UK-funded but multinational) Research and Innovation Systems for Africa, with the support of South Africa’s private sector Research Institute for Innovation and Sustainability.  

“The UK is a world-leader in space, specifically in the manufacturing and launch capability fields, but also in areas such as finance, law, education, and ecosystem development,” pointed out Innovate UK knowledge transfer manager for South Africa Alana Kruger. “These are all components of a growing and sustainable space sector. Our focus is on giving our African partners an opportunity to interrogate how these elements contribute to a robust space ecosystem, and explore how they can apply similar strategies to spur industry growth at home.”

The Kenyan delegation is composed of representatives of the Kenya Space Agency, AgriBORA Labs and Sayari Labs. The Rwandan delegation has representatives from the Rwandan Space Agency, Westewalle Haus Kigali, and Locus Dynamics, while Nigeria is represented by the head of the African Space Leadership Institute. The South African delegation comprises representatives of ZASPACE, the Aerospace Systems Research Institute of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and the University of the Witwatersrand.

“Joining this tour is an exciting opportunity to learn from the UK’s advanced space industry,” affirmed ZASPACE board member and Wanscan Consulting MD Janusha Singh. “There are many up- and downstream opportunities for collaboration between our two industries, especially now as space technology starts playing a more prominent role in areas like agriculture and disaster management. I am looking forward to applying the knowledge and relationships gained on this trip, to enhance our own capabilities and boost South Africa’s contribution to the global space community.”

The African delegates started their tour on Monday in London, with briefings on UK space policy and regulation, and discussions on the role of venture capital in developing space technologies. On Tuesday, they visited the Leicester Space Park, while on Wednesday they will go to the Satellite Applications Catapult at Harwell. On Thursday, they travel to Scotland, attend the Scottish Parliament, and have meetings with Scottish officials and businesspeople. On Friday, the last day, they visit Scottish rocket and satellite design, manufacturing and deployment company Skyrora, and then the University of Strathclyde’s Technology and Innovation Centre.   

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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