Egypt urges publicising outcomes of African climate-monitoring satellite project at COP27

Ahram Online , Monday 31 Jan 2022

Egypt’s Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar stressed the need to make available to the public the outcomes of the African development satellite project, which was set up to measure the repercussions of climate change, during the United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP27) that Egypt will host in November.

Egypt s Minister of Higher Education
Egypt s Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar chairs a meeting in Cairo for heads of national space agencies in a number of African countries, 30 January 2022. Egyptian Ministry of Higher Education

Abdel-Ghaffar made the remarks in a meeting that was hosted by the Cairo-based Egyptian State Agency (EgSA) to discuss the mechanisms of the project on Sunday.

The gathering was attended by heads and delegations of national space agencies in Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Ghana, and Sudan -- the five countries participating in the project with Egypt.

Egypt announced the establishment of the project during the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7) that took place in Japan’s Yokohama in August 2019.

The project seeks to bring African countries together to develop a space system that is capable of monitoring climate change, Egyptian Space Agency CEO Mohamed El-Koosy said in 2020.

The system, the integration of which is set to take place in Egypt, should also act as a disaster monitoring tool and be used to observe and manage agriculture and water resources, El-Koosy added.

The project comprises a small satellite as well as a satellite subsystem in each of the participating countries, he stated.

Egypt has been selected to host COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh city in November of 2022 with ambitions to advance African priorities regarding climate change and to ensure the availability of sustainable investments required for developing countries to face the climate change impacts.

In a speech during COP26 in Glasgow last November, Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi hailed Africa as a "role model for serious climate action,” adding that the continent suffers most from the negative consequences [of climate change] although it is not responsible for the climate crisis.

El-Sisi also called on developed countries during a speech delivered to the Glasgow conference to fulfil their pledge to provide $100 billion annually to developing countries to address the repercussions of climate change and to allocate at least half of all public climate finance to adaptation measures.

Egypt has vowed to build on the outcomes of COP26 from the stage of making pledges regarding climate action to actual action on the ground.

Supporting African satellite project

Abdel-Ghaffar said at the meeting on Sunday that Egypt is well prepared to provide training and technical support to scientific teams from the African countries involved in the project.

The participants signed a working document and agreed on the role of the countries engaged in the project regarding building the space systems of the satellite.

They also agreed on the formation of an administrative and technical committee for the project.

The heads of the space agencies in the five countries highlighted the vitality of the project for ensuring capacity-building of the participating scientific teams and monitoring climate effects on different fields in Africa, read a statement by the Egyptian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research.

Egypt has been working along with African countries to develop space programmes and provide training to teams from African countries on space technology.

In October, the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and Airbus Defence and Space announced granting a team of specialists from Egypt, Uganda, and Kenya a one-year free mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS) to evaluate the impact of climate change on East Africa.

In 2019, Egypt allocated $10 million to support the establishment of the African Space Agency (AfSA) through construction and operation costs for five years.

The African Union (AU) approved that Egypt, the chair of the AU that year, hosts the AfSA in Cairo.

AfSA is an African initiative dedicated to promoting, advising and coordinating the development and utilisation of space science and technology in Africa and forging intra-African and international cooperation.

Egypt has launched several satellites over the past years, including EgyptSat-2A and Tiba-1 satellites in 2019. It presented three educational satellites to the laboratories of Egyptian universities earlier this month.

Egypt is also scheduled to launch four satellites for scientific research in 2022 to upgrade the peaceful use of sciences and space technology, El-Koosy said in August.

Short link: