Egypt is to launch two satellites next year, the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research has announced. Khaled Abdel Ghaffar made the announcement during the Europe-Africa Space Earth Observation High-Level Forum in Lisbon, Portugal.
The Nexast-1, weighing just 65kg, will be a lightweight satellite used for remote sensing and scientific research. The EgyptSat-2 will weigh 330kg and use sensor applications to provide clear photographs by cameras capturing images within two metres of the intended subject.
Egypt's Space Agency was inaugurated in 2018, although the country's ventures beyond the earth's atmosphere started several years before with the launch of EgyptSat-1 in 2007. Two other satellites were launched in 2019.
Egypt will host the headquarters of the African Space Agency, which represents all 54 countries on the continent. The agency will be equipped with the latest equipment and space technology said Abdel Ghaffar.
"All the facilities and infrastructure for space projects are available in Egypt, and we are ready to become a reliable partner," he explained. All support will be "provided to Africa to benefit from space technology and its applications."
The minister also pointed out that next month, Egypt will be launching a training and capacity-building programme for 18 African researchers across various fields in space exploration.
"We aim to transform Egypt into a centre for training, research and development in space activities, and encourage African youth to explore new horizons in space science," he added.