PLENARY 4: The Role of African Space Nations in Global Space Exploration

Wednesday 7, 14:30 – 15:30
Location: Beijing International Convention Center – Hall 2

Winning the battle of convincing their governments to invest in space technology and applications has been a great achievement for African space nations. The governments of these space authorities continue to fund space programmes dependant on the support the programmes provide to government activities, more so to activities around socio-economic benefits/challenges and development. As these African space nations advance, they draw experience and enthusiasm from the faring space nations, proving that international cooperation is key in advancing any space programme. The difference between space programmes of emerging space nations and those of faring space nations is evident in the maturity of their programmes and the progressive discussions on space exploration projects and the implementation thereof. Space exploration projects are capital-intensive! Heads of African Space Agencies shall share their views on the relevance of space exploration in a nation that is challenged with socio- economic ills. They shall share their space exploration plans and what they perceive their role to be in the broader scheme of things. The panel discussions will also highlight the following:

  • The meaning of space exploration to an African space nation
  • The socio-economic benefits of space exploration to an African space nation
  • The value of African space nations in global space exploration



Acting Managing Director, Earth Observations, South African National Space Agency (SANSA)

South Africa


Mohammed BEKHTI

Head of the Research Department of Space Instrumentation, Agence Spatiale Algérienne (ASAL)



Chief Executive Officer, Kenya Space Agency


Seidu Onailo MOHAMMED

Director General / Chief Executive, National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA)


Valanathan MUNSAMI

Deputy CEO, Saudi Space Agency (SSA)

Saudi Arabia


Acting Head: Human Resources, Science and Technology, African Union Commission