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Russian companies ready to assist Africa develop own space technologies

Alexander Stepanov is the International adviser to Russia Space Rocket Center Progress.

Renowned Russian companies operating in the space industry have expressed willingness to offer support and make increased investments in Africa.

This was confirmed Friday in St. Petersburg by Alexander Stepanov, the International adviser to Russia Space Rocket Center Progress during the Russia-Africa Economic and Humanitarian Summit.

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While noting that most developed countries are reluctant to share their technologies with the continent, he indicated that Russia is developing different types of satellites and has no problem sharing them with Africa.

“Africa is still not well equipped in Education and does not have qualified engineers in space technologies. And we want to cooperate in this sphere to capacitate the continent to promote the space industry and make a platform of education to develop it,” he said

Specifically, Stepanov says Russia will assist African countries in the area of education and training, transfer of technology and most importantly, the localization of production of satellite technologies.

“We are developing our transfer technology programme plans in the region and we want to localize our industrial components, so that our partner countries can produce their own satellites to solve different types of challenges such as in Agricultural sector, meteorological, navigation, telecommunications etc. It’s a new stage of regional cooperation, if we are talking about the development of most high-tech space industry,” Stepanov added

The space science and aerospace research official notes that every country in the continent does not have an opportunity to have its own satellites. As such, he believes the best strategy is the development of “satellite sharing” scheme that can be used by all countries or regions of the continent.

And as diplomatic relations with most Africa states continue to strengthen, the expert said Russia is open to cooperation to provide technologies which, he maintains, their competitiveness in the sector is not in question noting that Moscow boasts of cutting-edge technologies and which are already in operation in space.

“We have opportunity to launch our own satellites.  We don’t only produce satellites but also different types of rocket launcher which are the most popular in the world and most secure. We also have the only one in the world which uses natural gas as fuel, so its ecologically meets the standards and it’s a multi-use rocket launch,” he said while highlighting the uniqueness of Russian space technologies

At the moment, Russia Space Rocket Center Progress is cooperating with almost the entire of the northern part of Africa. Countries such as Egypt, Algeria, and Tunisia have signed pacts for joint development in this regard. Stepanov also indicated that a number of students from African countries are being assisted to study in several Russian educational centers.

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