African Space and Satellite Industry now valued at USD 19.49 Billion

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  • African space economy is becoming a strategic tool for strengthening the nation’s economy and contributing to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Africa at a faster rate than the continent’s GDP
  • The value of the African space industry in 2021 was USD 19.49 billion and is anticipated to increase by 16.16% to reach USD 22.64 billion by 2026
  • In 2022, African nations allocated US$534,9 million to national space programmes. This sum represented an increase of 2.24% over the revised US$ 523.3 million for 2021
  • African space sector, the ground segment market, has enormous potential.

A report published by Space in Africa, the leading source of information and market analysis for the African satellite and space industries, Indicates that the African space economy is becoming a strategic tool for strengthening the nation’s economy and contributing to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Africa at a faster rate than the continent’s GDP.

The value of the African space industry in 2021 was USD 19.49 billion and is anticipated to increase by 16.16% to reach USD 22.64 billion by 2026.

In addition, the African space economy employs about 19,000 people across several sectors, with the government, the largest employer in the industry, employing over 11,000 individuals.

In 2022, African nations allocated US$534,9 million to national space programmes. This sum represented an increase of 2.24% over the revised US$ 523.3 million for 2021.

National budgets contribute annually to the industry’s valuation, and government contributions climbed by 80.83 per cent from US$  289.33 million in 2019 to US$ 523.2 million in 2021.

Numerous African nations are advancing their space application objectives, as their national priorities include, among others, space democratisation, propulsion and human capacity development, launch technology development, and international and space partnerships.

In 2021, the satellite communication market, which consists of Fixed Satellite Services (FSS), Satellite TV services and Mobile Satellite Services (MSS), represented a substantial portion of the space and satellite sector valuation in Africa.

The African satellite television market generates a sizeable portion of this money, with significant satellite television providers such as DSTV, StarTimes and Canal+ Afrique dominating revenue creation, subscriber base, and countries served.

The declining trend within the satellite component manufacturing industry can be ascribed to the decline in revenues of some companies, the closure of several enterprises, and the fact that others are still selling their first products and, as a result, have not been producing money.

Generally speaking, the satellite manufacturing sector (This includes satellite systems and components, satellite production, launch and thrust systems).
Satellite is anticipated to increase as many enterprises expand their market share, and several others profit from selling the new production line.

Increased demand within the Earth Observation (EO) market

The downstream segment is now driving the market in a significant way.
The highest demand within the EO market that offers investment potential to foreign commercial operators is for precision agriculture products and services, scalable geospatial and remote sensing solutions, and EO and geospatial training/certification courses.

The ground segment will stimulate the African space market.

In the African space sector, the ground segment market has enormous potential. This market sector forecasts the value of developed satellite ground stations and installed astronomy infrastructures, such as telescopes and other astronomical equipment, in 2021.

Since practically all missions, including commercial, military, and scientific payloads, utilise space ground systems for launch and on-orbit operations, it is anticipated that the ground segment will stimulate the African space market.

Smaller Satellites

It is primarily due to the exorbitant expense of constructing large satellites and the lengthy development time that there has been a paradigm shift away from massive satellites and toward smaller satellites.

Small satellites offer an almost infinite number of potential uses, many of which are currently being investigated to make a discernible difference in ways that directly contribute to Africa’s economic and environmental development.

Weather forecasting, The Internet of Things (IoT), early warning systems, crop and animal monitoring for agricultural purposes, and other similar applications are examples of the novel small satellite applications being developed today.

Space in Africa anticipates that by 2022, 272 NewSpace firms across the continent will be setting the route of space democratisation.

These companies, headquartered in 31 African nations, are pioneering unique methods of harnessing space technology [and their derived data] to build cutting-edge technologies and solutions in numerous industries, such as manufacturing, medical, transportation and logistics, and many more.

These businesses generally serve other private sector enterprises (B2B), customers (B2C), and the government.

Additionally, in most African regions, private enterprises exploit government and foreign-built space systems and infrastructures to deliver specialised solutions, such as decision-ready datasets, satellite and component engineering, and satellite communication services (i.e. DTH Tv, internet services, satellite ).

Africa  needs Human capacity development in Space industry

Human capacity development is the cornerstone of the growth of Africa’s space ecosystem and has inspired substantial investment from numerous African public and private entities.

The long-term objective of any capacity-building programme is to strengthen the national space ecosystems of African nations.

However, the current state of the African space industry is characterised by a dearth of qualified human resources across all space industry sectors, making it difficult to take advantage of various technological advances.

In addition, the absence of infrastructure at all levels of the education sector to assist human resource development has hindered the continent’s progress.

Nonetheless, the continent is beginning to experience slow but consistent growth, mainly as a result of increased investment from all space actors to improve the education and training of specialists, create the necessary testing and building infrastructure, and create an environment conducive to international cooperation and the required legal and regulatory frameworks.

Some capacity development programmes have been established to address the industry’s human resource deficit and construct a sustainable talent pipeline to fulfil future skill requirements.

About Space in Africa

Space in Africa, the foremost authority on news, data, and market analysis for the African space and satellite business, is the organisation that is responsible for publishing the 2022 edition of the Africa Space Industry Annual Report.

It provides information and analyses various initiatives, deals, collaborations, and investments across the continent.

In addition, it investigates the expanding demand for space technologies and data across the continents, its commercial potential, and the appropriate regulatory framework in the various nations.

Read: Kenya: Country planning more satellite launches for outer space exploration

 

Maingi Gichuku is passionate about helping African businesses grow by offering technology solutions. With a BSC in Zoology and biochemistry, Gichuku yearns for an Africa that can find solutions to its challenges. My drive is to see an economically dynamic Africa and embrace its populations by creating opportunities cutting across the social and economic strata.

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