Towards the Implementation of an African Space Programme

Towards the Implementation of an African Space Programme 2016-11-03T13:19:20+00:00

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Chair: Dr Val Munsami, Department of Science and Technology, South Africa
Panellist: Ms Joy-Marie Lawrence, South African National Space Agency, South Africa
Panellist: Ms Andiswa Mlisa, Group on Earth Observations, Switzerland
Panellist: Prof Robert van Zyl, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa
Panellist: Mr Humbulani Mudau, South Africa, Department of Science and Technology
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The operational sense for the recently adopted African Space Policy and African Space Strategy, by the Executive Council of the African Union (AU), is gaining traction through the drafting of a Governance Framework and an Implementation Plan for an African space programme. Such a programme will stand to benefit a range of stakeholders across continental, regional and national levels through the use of space-based applications in addressing a multitude of socio-economic challenges. Such applications serve as appropriate tools in assisting evidence-based policy-making and are therefore expected to have a significant impact in achieving, for example, the sustainable development goals, including poverty reduction and improvement in the quality of life. It is envisaged that the implementation of the African space programme will not be centralised, but will rather involve multiple stakeholders across national, regional and continental boundaries.

The African Union Heads of States and Government during their 26th Ordinary Session on 31 January 2016 in Addis Ababa adopted the African Space Policy and Strategy as the first of the concrete steps to realize an African Space Programme, as one of the flagship programmes of the AU Vision and Agenda 2063.
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munsamiDr Val Munsami
Department of Science and Technology, South Africa
Chair

He has a PhD in Solid State Physics and a research background in Space Physics. He joined the Department of Trade and Industry, as Deputy Director, working on issues relating to the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the space sector. He later joined the National Research Foundation, as Manager, responsible for implementing South Africa’s international science and technology partnerships. He then joined the Department of Science and Technology as Director (and later promoted to Chief Director) for Space Science and Technology, where he was involved in the development of South Africa’s National Space Strategy and National Space Policy, and oversaw the establishment of the South African National Space Agency (SANSA). He then became the Deputy Director-General: Research, Development and Innovation where he was responsible for Space Science (including the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) project and oversight of SANSA), Biotechnology and Health, Hydrogen and Energy, Innovation Instruments (including oversight of the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA)), and Intellectual Property (including oversight of the National Intellectual Property Management Office (NIPMO)). On winning the bid to co-host the SKA, he then became the Chief Specialist for Astronomy and African Space Science. In this role, he also chaired the African Union Space Working Group, which was tasked with the development of the African Space Policy and the African Space Strategy. In addition, he also chaired a Committee of the African Union that drafted the Implementation Plan for the Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA-2024).
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lawrenceMs Joy-Marie Lawrence
South African National Space Agency, South Africa
Panellist

Joy-Marie Lawrence is the chairperson of the South African National Space Agency (SANSA). She has been an inaugural board member of SANSA since 2010, and the chairperson of the Board since 2014. Joy-Marie has an BA, LLB, LLM specialising in Space Law, Telecommunications Law, Broadcasting and the Media. She graduated with an Executive MBA (with distinction) and the thesis focus was on a systems thinking approach to understanding the sustainability of South Africa’s space science future. Joy-Marie also previously co-lectured on the space and satellite law course at the University of Witwatersrand and contributed a chapter on Interconnection & Facilities Leasing in the book “Telecommunications law in South Africa” which was the first of its kind in South Africa at the time. Joy-Marie is a fellow of the Institute of Directors of Southern Africa.
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mlisaMs Andiswa Mlisa
Group on Earth Observations, Switzerland
Panellist

Ms Mlisa holds an MSc in GIS and Remote Sensing from the University of Stellenbosch. She has over 13 years experience developing Earth observations and geospatial techniques for hydrogeological and earth science applications in the private sector in support of government policies and service delivery. In her current role at the GEO Secretariat she coordinates and facilitates the implementation of AfriGEOSS, a trans-continent initiative to coordinate and reinforce synergies among national and regional Earth observations efforts in Africa and globally. AfriGEOSS identifies opportunities and put in place measures to enhance Africa’s participation in, and contributions to the development of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) and the implementation of the African Space Programme. In addition Ms Mlisa is responsible for coordinating capacity building activities in GEO, which aim to build individual, institutional and infrastructure capacity to foster the uptake and use of Earth observation for informed decision-making.
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vanzylProf Robert van Zyl
Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa
Panellist

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mudauMr Humbulani Mudau
Department of Science and Technology, South Africa
Panellist

Humbulani Mudau has over 20 years technical and management experience in space science and technology specifically in Earth observation systems, remote sensing applications and geospatial technologies coupled with extensive knowledge in the development of policies and strategies. Mr Mudau holds a Master’s degree in Satellite Remote Sensing from the University of Paris VI (Pierre & Marie CURIE) in France. At the beginning of his career he worked as a Technical Assistant to the Environmental Advisor, Chamber of Mines of South Africa (JHB) from 1996-1997. In 1998, Mr Mudau joined the Agricultural Research Council-ISCW (Pretoria) as Remote Sensing Researcher, responsible for the development of NOAA-AVHRR long-term database for sub-Saharan Africa. He then moved to the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research-NRE Unit in the Earth Observation Research Group as a Remote Sensing Specialist and the National Land Cover 2000- Project Manager. In 2006, Mr Mudau joined the Department of Science and Technology as Deputy Director for Space Science and Technology programme, responsible for research and strategic planning for technological programme development including South African Earth Observation Strategy implementation, and managed the development of SumbandilaSat mission. In 2009 he was appointed as Director for Space Science and Technology responsible for research and strategic planning, development space-based products and services. He supported the development of the National Space Strategy and its Implementation Plan, and the establishment of the South African National Space Agency. In 2010, he was seconded to the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Secretariat as a Scientific Expert in Geneva, Switzerland. Mr Mudau was then appointed the Chief Director for Space Science and Technology in 2012, wherein he provides leadership for the development of the South African National Space Programme.
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