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ESPI Bolsters its International Engagement at NewSpace Africa Conference

From 2-5 April 2024, the third edition of the NewSpace Africa Conference took place in Luanda, Angola under the theme: “The Role of Space in Closing Africa’s Poverty Gap” 

This year’s conference featured the participation of the African Union Commissioner for Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Professor Mohammed Belhocine; the Angolan Minister of Telecommunications, Information Technologies, and Social Communication, Mário Augusto da Silva Oliveira; and the President of the African Space Council, Tidiane Ouattara, together with more than 400 delegates. 

The European Space Policy Institute (ESPI) was one of the proud sponsors of the conference and participated through its delegate, Research Fellow Gabriele Redigonda.  

Space has an opportunity to impact the life of millions of people and respond to one of the highest threat multipliers of today: climate change. This is happening fast in African countries and Europe can contribute to steering this growth towards peace, prosperity and future generations. ESPI will serve as the proxy to facilitate an informed and concrete exchange between Europe and its African partners. I am honoured to be part of this process. 

Gabriele Redigonda, ESPI Research Fellow

Considering the creation and operationalization of several space agencies in African countries, it is more important than ever for European actors to partner with long-standing African counterparts and contribute to the capacity-building in the region.  

As part of its commitment to international engagement, ESPI aims to:  

  • Develop a research- and consultation-based understanding of the policy, regulatory, industrial and investment ecosystems in Africa in concert with African partners. 
  • Build and maintain relations with African stakeholders, building upon existing relations with Space in Africa and African Space Leadership Institute (ASLI). 
  • Foster a dialogue between European and African public and private entities. 
  • Facilitate capacity-building efforts by international partners. 

The African space sector is one of the fastest growing in the world and certainly the one holding the greatest potential for future growth. Strengthening and building new relations with key stakeholders in this exceedingly vibrant ecosystem is a top priority that will inform the ESPI international engagement agenda for the coming years.

Marco Aliberti, ESPI Associate Manage & Lead on International Engagement

ESPI’s first concrete action will be the publication of its forthcoming Space Venture Report, which will feature an analysis of the African investment ecosystem developed in collaboration with Space in Africa. 

Its second step will convene an inter-regional dialogue among African and European delegates during COPUOS. 

The third step will be presenting findings on the reflection on the role of space for Climate Resilience and Food Security in the Mediterranean region at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) 2024 in Milan this October. 

Key ESPI insights from the Conference can be found below:  


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