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FG urges for more investment in space sector

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By Usman Oladimeji

Africa's space economy is forecasted to surpass a value of $10bn by 2024.

Nigerian federal government has called on investors to capitalize on the opportunities present in the burgeoning space industry in order to achieve its socioeconomic objectives. This was discussed at the African Space Economy Conference and Exhibition, which was organized by the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) and the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA). Key government leaders, industry players, entrepreneurs, investors, and scientists gathered for the five-day event with the topic “Exploring Space Economy for Africa’s Economic Growth.”

In his address, Professor Nnanyelugo Ike-Muonso, the Technical Adviser on Programmes, who attended on behalf on Uche Nnaji, the Minister of Innovation, Science, and Technology, stressed the federal government interest to the investors that the continent must capitalize on the enormous opportunities of the space sector in order to unleash creativity and promote sustainable development. As a burgeoning sub-sector, this type of economy indicates the economic prospects of a dynamic sector and its role in human socio-economic development.

Many affluent individual investors have emerged as major actors.

This will serve as a springboard to increased the continent’s participation and collaboration in the global space economy. Africa is in an ideal position to harness its assets to benefit both the continent and the world, therefore we must focus our efforts in that direction. For the benefit of the youth and the entire public, we can increase technical innovation, minimize capital flight, and generate new jobs, he said. One of the purposes of the conference, according to Dr. Halilu Shaba, DG of NASRDA, was to foster cooperation between industry professionals and investors.

He went on to note that NASRDA, which was established in 1999 was driven by a desire for the country to tap into the economic opportunities presented by the space’s science and technology. In the past, only large government agencies like National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the European Space Agency dabbled in this science and technology market. However, this is no longer the case, as many affluent individual investors have emerged as major actors in the industry in recent years.

The African space economy harbours a vibrant economy.

Also, the conference is part of NASRDA plan to increase public access to the ecosystem so that it can be better appreciated, used, and supported. For the benefit of Africa’s economic liberation, he stated, “we hope that many African investors would see the potential in the industry and begin to invest.” The Director General also stressed the need of making use of business-to-business events to connect with counterparts from all around the world. The African space economy is very vibrant and is forecasted to surpass a value of $10 billion by 2024.

It is anticipated to increase by 16.16%, reaching $22.64 billion by 2026. Having open, secure, and autonomous access to space is essential to our ability to operate in a world where geopolitics, security, and defense are all becoming increasingly reliant. As President of ACCI Dr. Al-Mujtaba Abubakar stated, the conference will focus on topics such as “Space Technology and Food Security,” “Space Technology and Internal Security,” and “Space Technology and Internally Generated Revenues.”

Now is the moment for Africa to reach new heights.

This technology has the potential to transform Nigerian security landscape, according to Proforce Galaxies Limited’s General Managing Director Adetokunbo Ogundeyin. Space technology could be used for border surveillance, aid response and deterrence, counterterrorism and kidnapping prevention, maritime security advancement, and geospatial intelligence enhancement, among other interventions. According to him, a country’s space capabilities can increase its diplomatic influence on the global stage and its ability to take part in international cooperation and talks. He added that now is the moment for Africa to reach new heights by taking advantage of this type of technology to safeguard the future of the country and attract much-needed investment.

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