Africa's burgeoning space industry in numbers.


A growing number of African countries are ramping up their space programmes. The African Union has even launched the African Space Policy and Strategy to regulate the space. We take a look at some key trends and players in this growing industry.

Main players South Africa:

Home to the continent's most developed space industry.

1999: Orbits its first satellite, Sunsat, built at the University of Stellenbosch.

2002: Entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth becomes the first African to visit space as part of a Russian flight to the International Space Station.

2010: The south African National Space Agency is established.

2017: Two locally developed nanosatellites are among 28 from 23 countries launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on 18 April.

2018 onwards: Part of the planned Square Kilometer Array, the world's largest radio telescope, will be constructed in South Africa.


Second only to South Africa.

2001: The National Space Research and Development Agency is established.

2003: Its first satellite, NigeriaSat-1, is launched by a Kosmos-3M rocket from Russia's Plesetsk spaceport. Five satellites have been launched to date, including NigComSat-1, Africa's first communications satellite.

2017: In January Nigeria announces a $550m deal with China for two new communications satellites.

The aim is to increase Africa's share of the $260bn global satellite industry.

2030?: Nigeria has stated its...

To continue reading