Ibadan, 12 January 2023. – The Republic of Djibouti has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Hong Kong Aerospace Technology Group Limited and Touchroad International Holdings Group to develop an international commercial spaceport in its northern Obock Region of Djibouti.
According to Djibouti’s President Ismail Omar Guelleh, the parties expect the spaceport’s development to round off in five years, costing $1 billion. Furthermore, it will comprise seven satellite launch pads and three rocket testing pads.
The project will also include the construction of port infrastructure and highways in the northern Obock region to ensure the reliable transportation of aerospace materials coming from China. However, Djibouti will not immediately own the spaceport as it will only receive the infrastructure after a 30-year co-management contract with Hong Kong Aerospace Technology.
According to the terms of the MoU, the parties will sign a formal contract sometime in March 2023. Furthermore, the Government of Djibouti will provide the necessary land (minimum 10 square kilometers) with a lease for a minimum of 35 years.
According to Space in Africa, the partnership demonstrates the African country’s commitment to space cooperation through public-private partnerships. In 2022, Djibouti announced that it was working on launching two satellites named the Djibouti 1A and Djibouti 1B, partnering with the Van Allen foundation to develop technologies to assist its sustainable development goals.
Speaking on the agreement, President Guelleh noted, “I am delighted to see our country involved in this promising technological and energy development project.”