Africa to Get New $1 Billion Spaceport in Djibouti

Africa to Get New $1 Billion Spaceport in Djibouti (News Central TV)

After Djibouti and Hong Kong Aerospace Technology agreed to work together to develop a facility to launch satellites and rockets in the northern Obock region, Africa may soon have a new spaceport.

According to the preliminary deal, the Djibouti government will “provide the necessary land (minimum 10 sq km and with a term of not less than 35 years) and all the necessary assistance to build and operate the Djiboutian Spaceport.”

To assure the dependable transit of aerospace materials, the $1 billion spaceport project will also include the development of a port facility, a power system, and a highway.

Ismail Omar Guelleh, the president of Djibouti, presided over the signing of the agreement. The project is expected to be finished in the next five years.

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Ismail Omar Guelleh

The spaceport, the first orbital spaceport on African territory, represents a significant victory for Africa.

A formal contract signing is anticipated for March 2023 as a result of the preliminary agreement, which was reached in collaboration with Touchroad International Holdings Group.

A statement by Hong Kong Aerospace Technology notes, “the project would enable the Group to leverage on the resources of the Republic of Djibouti and the business connection of Touchroad in Africa, and allow the Group a smooth entrance into the aerospace business in the Republic of Djibouti.”

According to Victor Mwongera, Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Kenyatta University, the projection will avail a launch base that will serve all Africans.

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“It will push eastern Africa off the sleeping state as far as active development of space-based innovations are concerned,” he explained.

Trial and small-scale launches have been executed in Africa in the past, including the Italian-operated Broglio Space Centre (San Marco) in Malindi, Kenya and Algeria’s Reggane.

Mwongera sees the expansion of Africa’s space industry, with a number of African countries already building and operating their own microsatellites as a growing trend.

“It has taken time but we needed time as a continent to be ready for this age. Now that we are ready, you are seeing the number is increasing and it is bound to increase further,” he said.

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“In any technology, it is not possible for you to come in and be a leader instantly, but today in Africa, there are many young minds interested in the field, it’s all promising,” he added.


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