Agenda 2063 is the African Union’s long-term framework for socio-economic development, regional integration and the preservation of history and culture.

The agenda has 15 flagship projects. These have been identified as necessary for meeting the continent’s aspirations. They are wide-ranging and include constructing a network of high-speed trains; ending violence and creating continental financial institutions.

But, in my view, the core of Agenda 2063 is the Africa outer space programme. It has direct or indirect impacts on the other flagship programmes. The outer space programme seeks to enable Africa to obtain maximum benefits from space science, technology and applications. It focuses on Earth observation, meteorology, satellite communication, satellite navigation and astronomy.

Outer space therefore needs the attention of the African Union (AU). However, at the executive council’s 40th session in February 2022, no reference was made to outer space. The AU Assembly subsequently referred to it once, when it adopted the organogram and salaries of the African Space Agency.

I believe the African outer space programme is a means to meet the ends of other flagship programmes in Agenda 2063. It needs more attention from the AU.

the aim of the Single African Air Transport Market is to connect major cities in Africa and create a unified air transport market in Africa. It rests on the safety and security of the continent’s space and airports. That requires satellites for all stages of flight, weather information, communication and in-flight services.

Similarly, the purpose of the integrated high-speed train network is to connect all African capitals and commercial centres by rail. This would ease the movement of goods and people across Africa. Satellites would provide the information the train network needs – location, navigation, weather and communication.

The envisaged pan-African virtual and e-University, a project run from Yaoundé, Cameroon, serves as the open, distance and e-learning arm of the Pan African University. This requires communication satellites for Internet access by students and their programme facilitators

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