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ISU Sharing Reflections on EU-Africa Space Relations during EUI Organized Panel

The European University Institute (EUI) recently invited the Head of the International Space University (ISU) Space Policy and Entrepreneurship lab Prof. Nicolas Peter (MSS02) and CEO of the South African Space Agency (SANSA) Dr. Valanathan Munsami (SSP09) to contribute to a panel organized as part of EUI’s Policy Leader Fellows’ talk entitled “Reflections on EU-Africa Space Relations”.

A panel moderated moreover by ISU SSP10 Etim Okon Offiong.

This virtual roundtable which took place on 5 November 2021 aimed at sharing reflections on EU-Africa space relations from institutional, policy and programmatic perspectives in the face of current global challenges with European and African space policy experts. Prof. Peter and Dr. Munsami shared the stage with:

Jolanda van Eijndthoven – Head of Unit, International Relations and Communication, DG Defence Industry and Space, European Commission and Tidiane Ouattara – Space Expert and GMES & Africa Program Coordinator, African Union Commission.

Mr Peter highlighted the on-going changes in the space sector and its impact on the Euro-African partnership. The latter has many channels of cooperation ranging from traditional space to space relations, and space to non-space i.e., space supporting aviation transport and finally foreign aid to space supporting capacity building in the space sector. Beyond established programmatic cooperation, centered mainly around Earth observation (e.g. GMES in Africa) and Positioning, Navigation and Timings (e.g. Galileo and EGNOS) or new avenues such as Space Weather, the importance of human capital development and need for appropriate space policy and legal framework in Africas was also stressed.

In the audience was also ISU resident faculty – Dr. Tejumola Taiwo – a Nigerian Space Systems Engineer and assistant professor for Space Applications and Space Engineering. Dr. Tejumola’s knowledge of the African space community, as well as the Asian one, provides the ISU community with very valuable intercultural contributions.

The European University Institute is an international postgraduate and post-doctoral teaching and research institute established by European Union member states to contribute to cultural and scientific development in the social sciences, in a European perspective with whom ISU looks forward to further collaborating.