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Angola Enacts Its First Space Strategy for 2016-2025

ANGOSAT-1 being lifted from a vacuum test chamber in August 2017, Photograph courtesy of

Angola published its first space strategy in May 2017 containing highly ambitious measures to make use of space technologies, services, and products for the social and economic development of the country and reinforce Angola’s regional and international positioning.

Angola’s space strategy establishes the main pillars and measures for state activities in the space sector, as well as guides their development in a central and convergent manner so as to ensure their sustainability and the stability of space investment in the country.

Angola recognises the need to align and coordinate its space-related endeavors in a context of growing investment in space activities both at national level (with the launch of the ANGOSAT communications satellite and the Centro Nacional de Captação e Processamento de Imagens de Satélite – National Centre for the Capture and Processing of Satellite Images), and international level (in light of the other countries’ growing investment in the space sector and the approval of the African Union Space Policy and Strategy). Moreover, it acknowledges the countless benefits brought by space technologies, services, and products to achieve the 2025 Long Term strategic goals and the sector-specific goals set out in its 2013-2017 Development Plan.

The space strategy is made up of five core strategic axes, and, for each one of them, an individual set of strategies is defined; lines of action and expected outcomes are then further indicated for each individual line of action. The strategic axes are the following:

  1. Space Infrastructure, with eight strategies: for communications (ANGOSAT satellite and potential future satellites, and a national satellite/ground segment communications system); for Earth observation (earth observation program, potential remote sensing satellites and/or reception earth stations and geospatial information systems); for orbital slots (with the orbital slots use programme); for satellite positioning and navigation (programme for development and/or participation in satellite systems in this scope); and for space autonomy (Angola’s autonomy programme for space access, focused on the assessment of the value and viability of implementing space access models);
  2. Capacity Building and Promotion, with four strategies: the national space capacity building and certification programme; the Centro Angolano de Estudos Espaciais – Angolan Centre for Space Studies; the promotion of the use of space resources, services, and products across the public and private sectors; and the space activities promotion programme;
  3. Industry and Technology, with four strategies: the national space industrial programme (which includes the definition of a plan for investment and development of private initiative and incubators); support to the private space sector (including feasibility studies to set up funds, aid, tax benefits, and promote public-private partnerships); a clear and reliable regulatory framework (seeking the enactment of sector relevant legislation); and the standardisation and certification of space products and services;
  4. International Positioning, with four strategies: Angola’s positioning in the United Nations, particularly in areas and initiatives targeting the space sector (including by means of accession to space treaties to be defined and engagement in initiatives and work groups); Angola’s positioning in the African Union in respect of space issues; Angola’s participation in international organisations, projects, and initiatives; and bilateral and multilateral partnerships; and
  5. Organisation and Cooperation, with three strategies: Angolan institutional space structure; sector plans for the use of space resources, images, products, and services (particularly in strategic sectors such as communications and IT, education, science and technology, environment and meteorology / disaster response, natural resources, defence and security); and cooperation and information sharing (including by defining a cross-sector strategy for the use of satellite resources and data by public entities).

The space strategy also defines the organisational structure for space activities, which is comprised of the Interministerial Commission for the Coordination of the National Space Programme (Comissão Interministerial para a Coordenação do Programa Espacial Nacional) (at the strategic level) and by the Space Agency (Agência Espacial) that will implement the space projects and programmes and license private space activities, and will have both a civil and military nature, INACOM (to allocate orbital slots) and the National Centre for the Capture and Processing of Satellite Images (that will obtain, process and provide satellite images to the public and private sectors).

Angola hopes to contribute with its space strategy towards the development of in-country space activities, the country’s social and economic development, and reinforce Angola’s leadership role, particularly at the regional level.

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