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High Level Forum: Space as a Driver for Socio-Economic Sustainable Development

Outer space critical to Africa’s future development

The key to Africa’s future development lies in outer space, according to the head of a UN-affiliated space science institute on the continent.

Dr Ganiyu Agbajea said space technology such as satellite imagery can provide a clearer picture of Africa’s natural resources which can then be used, for example, in environmental protection efforts.

Dr Agbajea is Executive Director of the African Regional Centre for Space Science and Technology Education which is based in Nigeria.

Students from 24 English-speaking African countries are enrolled there.


Social media a “powerful channel” for space industry

Space exploration is the story of “very passionate people that do ground-breaking stuff” and is not only about rockets and satellites, according to a social media specialist who works in the industry.

Remco Timmermans spoke about the connection between social media and space during a recent forum in Dubai organized by the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the United Arab Emirates.

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Space-based information saving lives on Earth

Satellite imagery, global navigation systems and other applications developed for space exploration are being used by the United Nations to help countries save lives on Earth.

An online platform administered by the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) ensures developing nations can access space-based data, for example in the wake of natural disasters.

Luc St-Pierre is Chief of UNOOSA’s Space Applications Section.

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Space technology “not just rockets and astronauts”

Space technology is more than sending rockets and astronauts into orbit. It is also about issues that are important here on Earth, such as access to health care, education and even non-stick frying pans.

That’s the opinion of a lecturer and researcher at the University of Khartoum in Sudan.

Rayan Iman from the university’s Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering attended a recent forum in Dubai which explored how the global space community can support development efforts.

MINUSMA/Sophie Ravier (file photo)

Satellite imagery provides clearer picture of Timbuktu reconstruction

Space technology is contributing to the reconstruction of one of the world’s most iconic heritage sites: Timbuktu in northern Mali.

That’s according to an Information Management specialist with the UN Development Programme (UNDP), Bertrand Frot.

He said UNDP is helping to rebuild the centuries-old city, which was destroyed by conflict over the past few years; the agency is using satellite imagery to monitor the reconstruction and its impact on people living there.

UN Photo/Runa A.

Mission will take developing countries into space

Countries that do not have their own space programmes could soon be reaching for the stars through a partnership between the United Nations and an American space and aviation company.

The UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) plan to launch the first dedicated UN space mission within the next five years.

UN Photo/Runa A.

Change STEM education to benefit women: NASA official

Changing the way science and mathematics are taught could help increase the number of women employed in the aerospace industry, according to a senior adviser with the United States space agency, NASA.

NASA Deputy Chief Scientist Gale Allen said studies show that traditional methods of teaching the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) do not take into consideration how women learn.

Ms Allen participated in a networking breakfast for women in the space industry worldwide that took place in Dubai on Monday.