Airbus, today, released a White Paper on the role of aerospace technologies and their impact on socio-economic development in Africa.
Tagged The Great Enabler: Aerospace in Africa, the extensive report looks at how different segments of the industry can address a core set of challenges on the continent by increasing access to healthcare; enhancing food security by making African agriculture more competitive and sustainable; promoting education, training and innovation; empowering businesses with innovative products and solutions; and breaking down barriers to the movement of people and goods across Africa.
The report was officially launched at a special summit, convening African government officials, policymakers, business leaders, entrepreneurs, intergovernmental bodies and multilateral development organisations in Toulouse, France.
Discussing space technology in Africa, three Nigerians that offered their perspectives at the panel include, Dr. Jonas, Chief Agricultural Economist at the African Development Bank (AFDB): Dr. Kasirim Nweke, Chief, New Technologies and Innovation, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA); and Dr. Mofoluso Fagbeja, Head, of Space Education Outreach Programme, Center for Space Science and Technology Education at the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA).
Others are, Mr. Abroulaye Fofana, Permanent Secretary, State Action at Sea, Cote d’Ivoire, and Mr. James Hinds, Director of Strategy Development Space System, Airbus.
The forum also had a panel on Aviation; Aviation and Tourism in Africa; Spotlight on Aerospace Technology in Healthcare and Humanitarian Field; Aerospace Manufacturing; and Entrepreneurhip with various aerospace experts on the panels.
“The aerospace industry offers solutions to many of the socio-economic challenges Africa is facing on the path to sustainable development. A paradigm shift from thinking about aerospace as an isolated industry to a key enabler of socio-economic change is necessary to realise its benefits for a prosperous future. That is what this White Paper is aiming at, by highlighting different ways in which aerospace technology can support social and economic development in Africa,” said Mikail Houari, President Airbus Africa Middle East.
The report also stressed the need for clear government policies to harness the power of aerospace technology, concluding with key recommendations on human capital development, partnerships and financing.
The research was based on 30 in-depth interviews with a cross-section of stakeholders including: African Union Commission, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa,African Development Bank, United Nations World Tourism Organisation, World Bank, International Finance Corporation, Kenya Red Cross, International Air Transport Association, African Airlines Association, South African National Space Agency, Nigeria’s National Space Research and Development Agency, Airbus Bizlab, Farmerline, Air Mauritius, Air Seychelles, Congo Airways, Fastjet, Overland Airways, Aerosud, Denel Aerostructures, Lazard, MARA Group, One2Five Advisory, Ag.Aviation Africa, and ch-Aviation.
The first day of the event closed with the launch of the second season of Airbus Bizlab Africa4Future initiative with Bruno Guitierres, Head of Airbus Bizlab announcing Nigeria and Code d’Ivoire in focus.
Airbus Bizlab Africa4Future initiativep romotes autonomous drones to deliver vital humanitarian aid payloads; intelligent greenhouses for more efficient farming; and drones that make crop-spraying faster, safer and more environmentally friendly.
They are each part of Airbus’ global aerospace accelerator BizLab, selected after beating off the competition at pitch events in 2017.
The sessions were moderated by Kenyan entrepreneur/media personality, Julie Gichuru.
Source: The Nation