February 23, 2018

France-Africa space cooperation, CNES meets ASECNA and Senegal’s Ministry for Higher Education, Research and Innovation

Friday 23 February in Dakar, CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall met Mohamed Moussa, Director General of ASECNA, the Agency for the Safety of Air Navigation in Africa and Madagascar, to review cooperation actions designed to develop a Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS) for Africa. Their meeting provided the opportunity to sign a three-year extension of the cooperation agreement on the SAGAIE network deployed at airports across sub-Saharan Africa, which has demonstrated the feasibility of a single-frequency SBAS service in Africa, including coverage of tropical regions. CNES’s President also took part in a demonstration flight for the Horizon 2020 GRICAS1 programme to which CNES, ASECNA and Thales Alenia Space are contributing to provide better automatic tracking of civil airliners in distress situations.

During his visit, Jean-Yves Le Gall also met Malik Sow, Secretary General of Senegal’s Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation (MESRI), to discuss space activities relating to Africa. Having first noted the success of the second International Space Forum (ISF) - The African Chapter organized on 13 February in Nairobi by the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) on the theme of space sciences and education serving sustainable development in Africa, he outlined the issues to be addressed at the global conference on space for emerging countries that IAF will be holding in Morocco next year.

He also presented the Space Climate Observatory (SCO) established at the end of 2017 by the world’s leading space agencies, underlining the value of enlisting African nations as contributors and users. CNES and MESRI agreed to highlight the role of space through the use of satellite data and the creation of a higher education space stream structured around development of small satellites, which will culminate in a space seminar to be organized before the end of this year.

Lastly, Jean-Yves Le Gall met France’s Ambassador to Senegal, Michel Bigot, to report on the talks held with ASECNA and MESRI. They discussed President Emmanuel Macron’s recent visit to Senegal and the commitment made on this occasion to develop space knowledge in France’s partner nations, among them Senegal.

1 Galileo Search-And-Rescue Return-Link Implementation for a better Civil Aviation Safety

Pascale Bresson    Press Officer    Tel. +33 (0)1 44 76 75 39    pascale.bresson@cnes.fr
Raphaël Sart          Press Officer    Tel. +33 (0)1 44 76 74 51     raphael.sart@cnes.fr