Chic African Culture Africa Factbook

Africa’s Space Programs and Africa's Journey to Space

Africa’s space programs spark interest in science and math across the African continent, which is critical to the future of Africa.

Africa's journey to space is a part of economic growth since without science and math a nation is not truly industrialized.

Math and science are important for the transformation of Africa.

Dr. Sandile Malinga was born in Soweto South Africa, is currently the South African National Space Agency CEO.
Dr. Sandile Malinga South African National Space Agency CEO 

Kenya launched its first satellite, Uhuru “freedom” from the tourist town of Malindi in 1970. Dr. Paul Baki president of the East African Astronomical Society founded Kenya’s first astronomy program at the University of Nairobi in 2008. 

Kenya is part of an African space science alliance that is currently in the running to build the world’s largest radio telescope.  Square Kilometer Array, SKA, telescope would span eight African countries, collecting observatory data in East Africa from South Africa to Mauritius.

Ethiopia’s Entoto observatory consists of two $3 million dollar telescopes situated on the approximant 10,170 feet or 3,100 meter high Mount Entoto. 

Entoto Observatory is the only modern astronomical observatory not only in the history of Ethiopia but also in the entire region.

Ethiopia’s Entoto observatory
Ethiopia’s Entoto observatory

Ethiopia’s communications director Abinet Ezra, stated “Science is part of any development cycle. Without science and technology, nothing can be achieved. 

Our main priority is to inspire the young generation to be involved in science and technology. 

To build a society with a highly developed scientific culture that enables Ethiopia to reap the benefits accruing from space science and technology.”

Kenya launched its first satellite, Uhuru “freedom” from the tourist town of Malindi in 1970.
Uhuru blue star Kenyan satellite

South Africa, Algeria, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, and Ethiopia all have space programs and established initiatives to increase new science, math and technology career fields for Africa

South Africa by far has the largest space program; the South African National Space Agency, SANSA was established in 2010. Dr Sandile Malinga was born in Soweto South Africa, is currently SANSA's CEO.  

Professor A. Ogg, at the University of Cape Town, founded the first magnetic observatory in Cape Town in 1841. The goal of launching astronauts into space is a far-reaching goal for Africa’s space programs.  

Down to earth matters of natural resource management, weather forecasting, agriculture and national security issues are being researched using Africa’s current satellite technology. 

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