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Egypt And France Commit To Furthering Space Cooperation

The Nile Delta at night. Image courtesy of NASA.

In the presence of Khaled Abdel Ghaffar, Egypt’s Minister for Higher Education and Scientific Research, and Stéphane Romatet, France’s Ambassador to Egypt, Centre national d’études spatiales (CNES) President Jean-Yves Le Gall opened the first joint France-Egypt Space Seminar in Cairo on 14 January 2020. At this event, Egypt reaffirmed its position as a new player in space with strong regional ambitions both in Africa and the Arab world. The two countries also signed a space cooperation agreement.

In his opening speech, Jean-Yves Le Gall began by emphasizing the strong commercial partnership the two nations have built, with the successful launch by Ariane 5 on 26 November 2019 of the TIBA-1 satellite for the Egyptian government and the recent award to Thales Alenia Space after an international tender of the contract to develop the NileSat 301 telecommunications satellite

At the seminar, CNES and the Egyptian Space Agency (EgSA) signed a framework agreement covering a range of fields including Earth observation, the Space Climate Observatory (SCO) initiative, space applications, research and technology (R&T), development of nanosatellites, and training.

After the signature, Jean-Yves Le Gall commented: “This joint France-Egypt space seminar and the signature of an agreement with EgSA mark the beginning of a new space partnership that will bring mutual benefits for our two countries and step up cooperation between nations on both shores of the Mediterranean. With this in mind, I have invited our Egyptian counterparts to visit the Toulouse Space Centre to pursue our discussions and start working together.”

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