For African countries, having a stake in space technology can bring tremendous benefits on the ground. Several African countries have come to understand that, for instance, satellite imagery can be used for agricultural purposes, such as helping to predict food shortages and surplus harvests. Ghana is expanding its space activities while developing the legislation it needs to attract space-related business.
African countries are becoming increasingly aware of the possibilities of being involved in space tech, such as being able to forecast and monitor natural disasters like flooding, earthquakes and wildfires.
Space program budgets on the African continent are going up, amounting to over $900 million between 2009-2012, with Algeria, Nigeria and South Africa as the biggest spenders. The continent’s space sector is reportedly worth $400 billion today.
Ghana is catching up. In July 2017, three engineering students from All Nations University, built and successfully launched Ghana’s first satellite, the GhanaSat-1, from Florida’s Kennedy Space Station.
But Ghana needs more to create a lucrative space sector - like proper policies and structures. It will need space legislation and regulations. CNBC Africa reports that a national space law would ensure that space activities launched within Ghana’s jurisdiction – whether on land, ships or aircraft – and perhaps even abroad by its nationals or registered companies are appropriately regulated.
Further reading on cnbafrica.com