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Industry body launched to grow South Africa’s geospatial sector

Press Release 3 Dec 2019 - 17:50 SAST

Industry body launched to grow South Africa’s geospatial sector

Press Release 3 Dec 2019 - 17:50 SAST

Information from SANSA

The convergence of earth observation, space navigation and positioning, telecommunications and location intelligence is generating business opportunities for companies in every sector. South Africa’s space sector, however, remains highly fragmented, massively under-transformed and sub-optimally skilled and capacitated.

To accelerate the continent’s readiness to benefit from space tech, key industry stakeholders with support from the South African National Space Agency (SANSA), have launched ZASpace Inc. The industry forum will facilitate structured investment in geospatial skills development as well as funding and incubation in geospatial innovation across the country’s space value chain.

“It’s a fallacy to assume that the growth and transformation of the geospatial sector will be a natural consequence of increased demand for products and services. We require a deliberate strategy and committed execution to stitch together the vibrant industry fabric needed to capitalise on the promised growth,” said Kamal Ramsingh, CEO of ZASpace.

ZASpace will prioritise innovation-based funding for SMMEs and start-ups by creating opportunities for participation by private equity, venture capital and other funding institutions. Providing effective co-ordination and marketing of the local industry, the industry forum will provide a platform for both upstream and downstream industry players to co-operate and engage in the growth of the sector.

“For the next five-year planning cycle, commencing 2020, South Africa will be charting a new strategic direction for our national space programme, and ZASpace Inc. will be a critical partner in forging stronger public-private sector partnerships,” said Dr Valanathan Munsami, CEO of SANSA.

Siyabonga Copiso, CEO of Amaya Space, which aims to launch South Africa’s first constellation of nano-satellites, has pledged the use of the constellation to ZASpace at the launch event, and the Department of Trade and Industry also offered its backing at the event, offering to sit on the foundational ZASpace Working Committee.

Other members of the Working Committee include Charmaine Houvet from Cisco, Davis Cook from RIIS, Imraan Saloojee from SANSA, Pieter Coetzee from SelfTrack, Rebatho Madiba from Transnet, Robert van Zyl from Amaya Space, Seshan Krishnamurti from Dimension Data, Sives Govender from EIS Africa, Thuli Khanyile from NkaThuto Edupropeller, and Kamal Ramsingh from GeoInt.

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