China and Africa in Global Space Science, Technology, and Satellite Development

Image: Flickr, Wolfgang Staudt
Image: Flickr, Wolfgang Staudt

Space programs in Africa vary in their history and composition, but they are all internationally embedded: when African space programs request bids for satellite contracts, Chinese firms compete alongside international firms to offer the most competitive package.

The roles of China’s institutions in the development of African countries’ space programs are smaller compared to other international partners. But China’s successes in providing relatively low-cost, reliable, and comprehensive satellites to African counterparts have created important milestones for both sides. The development of satellite technologies involves a vast array of complementary industries, from optics to metallurgy to data management, so public investments in satellite development stimulate a range of sectors.

1 Jan 2020