February 15, 2018 | Space science for sustainable development in Africa

DLR is helping to achieve sustainability goals in Africa

Space science as a tool for sustainable development in Africa was the focus of the '2nd International Space Forum – African Chapter' that took place in Nairobi, Kenya, on 13 February 2018. The event was organised by the International Astronautical Federation (IAF). The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) joined high-level representatives from 31 African countries and numerous international organisations and space agencies to discuss the space industry's contribution to achieving Africa's sustainability goals. With the motto 'Space science and academia for sustainable development in Africa', special emphasis was placed on partnerships within the space industry as well as on collaboration between African universities and research institutions with international partners as well as the associated training of young African scientists.

"Sustainable space science contributes to the improvement of the socio-economic situation in Africa. African stakeholders must be involved in the development and implementation of applications for national and regional challenges," remarked Pascale Ehrenfreund, Chair of the DLR Executive Board, in her address during the forum. She went on to say that the DLR and the entire German space industry are happy to contribute to the development of the African continent by realising space-based applications.

With its research activities, DLR contributes to the developing solutions to the urgent problems faced by many African countries. These range from work on the global urban footprint and megacities, through research into the consequences of climate change, to disaster management.

At a national level, Germany has launched various programmes to support its economic partnership with Africa, such as the Pro! Afrika Initiative of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.

About the International Astronautical Federation

The aim of the International Astronautical Federation is to bring together scientists from all over the world and support communication within the space industry. The International Astronautical Congress (IAC) is an annual IAF event, consisting of a conference programme and exhibition. This year'sIAC will take place from 1 to 5 October in Bremen.


Marc Jochemich

German Aerospace Center (DLR)
International Relations
Head of DLR Washington Office
Linder Höhe, 51147 Köln