Excerpt from the African Aeronautics & Space Organization Symposium

The African Aeronautics & Space Organization (AASO), whose honorary president is the French astronaut Jean Loup Christian, organized a symposium on Space and Aeronautical Applications for Health in Africa. The symposium was organized to allow AASO achieve these foundational goals:  

  1. Contribute to the development of aeronautical and space sciences in Africa
  2. Promote and implement partnership development projects related to aeronautics and space sciences using local skills accompanied by those of the African diaspora
  3. Promote the need to pool aerospace resources of the African continent that contribute to its sustainable development.

The AASO in partnership with the CNES (National Center for Space Studies) and IPSE (Institute of Foresight & Security in Europe) organized the symposium which was themed “Aeronautics and Space Applications for Health in Africa” held at the CNES headquarters (National Center for Space Studies) on the 30th and 31st of January, 2019 on the Tango barge on the banks of the Seine at the Place de la Concorde in Paris.

The symposium had in attendance the winner of the Nobel Prize in Medicine, Dr. Françoise Barre Sinoussi, godmother and member of the orientation council of the symposium, Honorary President Astronaut Jean Loup Chrétien was also in attendance as well as the President of the Air and Space Academy, Anne Marie Mainguy, a member of our orientation council.

The symposium lasted all day with nearly 80 people present. Specific meetings were held with senior representatives of the African Union’s space activities, Locate IT (Kenya), Nigerian Satellite Communications (NIGCOMSAT) and AASO.

 The purpose of the conference was achieved as many speakers were able to present examples of projects / technologies applied on the African continent in the service of health. On 01/30/19, institutions like CNES through its international director Mr Jean François Le Franc also shared insights.

He showed excitement for witnessing the event which brought together space actors in connection with Africa. Former Minister and State Secretary for Health Ms. Nora Berra presented her vision on the valuable contributions to health stemming from space innovation. Mr Jean Marie Bockel, former Minister for Cooperation, Senator and President of the Group for the Space of the French elected officials (GPE) shared his vision and urged the African continent to equip itself with an African space agency to pool the efforts of the entire continent in the service of sustainable development.

 Throughout all the presentations, several potentials emerged for development of aeronautical and space applications in relation to public health in Africa. Past and future cooperation and cost issues were  shown through various examples.

The two day symposium in Paris allowed the listeners and the speakers to exchange ideas around the problem facing: “Aeronautics and space applications for health in Africa”. Institutional, industrial, university and associative stakeholders presented their experiences and ideas through past or future projects. The meeting sessions which covered topics of all kinds (economic, organizational, technical, etc …) ensured closer exchanges between all these actors.

The President of the African Aeronautics  & Space Organisation, Mr Sekou OUEDRAOGO concluded by saying  “This event encourages us to organize other themes that align with the sustainable development of the African continent. I would particularly like to thank the CNES that hosted us, the African Union through Dr. Mahama Ouedraogo, HRST Head of Science & Technology Division, African Space Policy and Strategy – Pan African University – Science Technology, which despite heavy commitments ensured Dr. Tidiane Ouattara, head of the GMES & AFRICA program of the African Union represents him.”