DRC MoU Signing - Prof Ngindu Buabua, Director General, DRC NRSC/CNT


The South African National Space Agency (SANSA) is proud to have been part of the Local Organising Committee of the Group of Earth Observation (GEO) Week 2023 taking place in Cape Town, South Africa, from 6 -10 November 2023. The week included the GEO-19 Plenary from 8 – 9 November 2023 and the GEO Ministerial Summit on 10 November. This international Earth Observation (EO) event presented a unique opportunity for networking and discussions with the high-level delegation of ministers, representatives from the private sector, civil society and international organisations.

“SANSA thoroughly enjoyed engaging the incredible global EO community in our beloved country as we built new partnerships and networks while strengthening existing bilateral and multilateral cooperation,” says SANSA CEO, Mr Humbulani Mudau. The SANSA delegation at GEO Week had a saturated schedule that included engagements with local and international stakeholders.  SANSA delegates were also part of the panel and session discussions, designed to deliberate on issues of Earth Observation. SANSA executives met with:

  •  China–Brazil Earth Resources Satellite (CBERS) team to discuss how SANSA through the South Africa-China bilateral arrangement on Science Technology and Innovation could formalise relations with CRESDA on emergency and disaster relief support. CRESDA has a suite of satellites and the data from these satellites are used to support governments during disaster and emergency responses. “With this initiative, we hope to strengthen SANSA’s support to government in their disaster response efforts.”
  • The World Food Programme (WFP) Director to identify areas of cooperation between SANSA and WFP to support the SADC region and develop joint funding mechanisms for the development of predictive space applications to assist with identifying where there
    are risks of food insecurity.
  • The South African National Space Agency (SANSA) and the Democratic Republic of Congo National Remote Sensing Centre (DRC NRSC/CNT) signed an MoU during the 2023 GEO-Ministerial Summit in Cape Town. This MoU marks an unrelenting commitment between the two parties in implementing collaborative scientific and technological projects and programmes, with the aim of mutual socio-economic development.
  • On 6 November 2013, SANSA became a signatory to the Space Climate Observatory (SCO) Charter, which was officially launched by French President Emmanuel Macron in June 2019. The SCO is an international initiative to make the best use of satellite data and digital technologies for climate action by facilitating public and private entities involved in Earth Observation (EO). It coordinates international efforts to support the emergence of operational tools for climate monitoring, mitigation, and adaptation.

“SANSA forged relationships during GEO Week that will benefit South Africans and lead to solutions to real-life problems such as climate change,” says Mudau. SANSA is joining this global effort to assist in capacitating South Africa’s climate resilience efforts and further contribute to the implementation of the National Climate Adaptation Strategy. The SCO currently constitutes over 20 space agencies as signatories, including the BRICS Space Agencies, thus presenting an opportunity for SANSA to offer globally informed advisory services to the Minister of the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) in his role as Commissioner of the Presidential Climate Commission on salient global space efforts with regards to climate change.

SANSA plans to develop a Space for Climate Change Agenda that will equip our service offering to the DSI. “SANSA looks forward to engaging with the broader space and climate sectors, including academia, industry and NGOs to draft the Space for Climate Change Agenda,” says Mudau.

For the first time in the history of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), the youth made a meaningful contribution through the Youth Declaration that was delivered to the Ministers on Friday, 10 November 2023. SANSA worked collaboratively with the DSI, the National Research Foundation (NRF), the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement (SAASTA), and the GEO Secretariat to train 10 South African youth on the development of the Youth Declaration. The participating youth were joined by a youth from Asia during a visit to SANSA Space Science facility in
Hermanus and SANSA Space Engineering’s Houwteq Assembly, Integration and Test (AIT) facility as part of their exposure to national space facilities.

GEO Week 2023 lived up to the theme of #TheEarthTalks as it reflected strongly on united global Earth challenges and collaborations across governments and organisations to address these challenges.

DRC MoU Signing - Prof Ngindu Buabua, Director General, DRC NRSC/CNT

DRC MoU Signing: Prof. Ngindu Buabua, Director General,  Democratic Republic of Congo National Remote Sensing Centre (right) shakes hands with SANSA CEO Humbulani Mudau

Daleen Fouche