France-South Africa space cooperation [fr]

CNES and SANSA meet

Paris, 28 April 2017,

On 25 April in Paris, Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) President Jean-Yves Le Gall met Valanathan Munsami, the newly appointed Chief Executive Officer of the South African National Space Agency (SANSA), on the sidelines of the meeting of the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS). As South Africa seeks to shift its space efforts up a gear, the two agency heads discussed new possibilities for cooperation between the two nations.

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With South Africa focusing increasingly on innovation—notably in the space sector—to drive its annual growth, SANSA’s Chief Executive Officer Valanathan Munsami was in Paris to hold talks with CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall on his agency’s ambition to lay the groundwork for a Pan-African space programme. The Pan-African Technical Committee today comprises 10 African nations.

South Africa is looking to specialize in the development of remote-sensing instruments for Earth observation, climate monitoring, science, meteorology, tele-epidemiology and telecommunications. Opportunities for cooperation between the two agencies therefore abound and CNES is ready to step up their partnership.

Cooperation between the two nations revolves around operation of the control station in Hartebeesthoek. It also covers coordination with CNES’s subsidiary CLS on tracking of wildlife and could be extended to tele-epidemiology. The Institute for Sustainable Malaria Control at the University of Pretoria (UP ISMC) is working on an instrument to help predict the spread of the disease in infested areas and CNES could contribute its recognized expertise in this domain to planned studies. Training could also be pursued at the French-South African Institute of Technology with support from the French Embassy.

After his meeting with Dr Munsami, Jean-Yves Le Gall commented: “We had very constructive discussions with Dr Munsami and his team. The ambitious agenda SANSA’s CEO is pursuing for South Africa and the entire African continent offers great opportunities for us to strengthen our relationship.

Press release from the CNES

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publie le 05/05/2017

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