Ibadan, 14 November 2023. – Djibouti has launched its first satellite, Djibouti 1A, into orbit, aboard Space’s Transporter-9 smallsat rideshare mission on November 11 2023. According to Space in Africa, the East African Country developed the satellite through a joint capacity-building program between Djibouti and its technical partner, the Centre Spatial Universitaire de Montpellier (CSUM). As a result, Djiboutian engineers and technicians in France designed, constructed and tested the satellite.
The historic launch comes after the nation recognized the importance of human capacity building to ensure that the Government is developing the country’s technological skill set so that the trained personnel can execute future satellite projects. As a result, the earth observation nanosatellite will help Djibouti access country-wide, real-time data from climatological and seismic stations. The satellite will also offer decision-makers nationwide relevant high-definition spectral information to enhance farming and other related activities.
Speaking on the launch, Djibouti Minister of Higher Education and Research, Mr Nabil Mohamed Ahmed, said, “We have put in place all the necessary elements to succeed in this project: firstly, the selection of Djiboutian students, because the objective was to make the satellite but not to buy it, and have our students manufacture it to make this technological leap and say in an uninhibited way that Djibouti is capable of manufacturing a satellite, launching it, collecting results for the climate but also getting started in development perspectives.”
Furthering its space development ambitions, the East African country, in January 2023, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Hong Kong Aerospace Technology Group Limited and Touchroad International Holdings Group to develop an international commercial spaceport.