Kenya Space Sector Formulation—Phase 3

It is in this phase that the physical establishment of the proposed space sector’s infrastructure and tangible capacity commences. A concurrent tripartite approach targeting i) human, ii) organizational and, iii) societal capacity development is required to ensure a comprehensive and efficacious inception of the Kenyan space sector. Similarly, identification and strategic engagement of potential collaboration partners that are likely to transfer relevant space technologies is initiated here.

roadmap3_Phase3Let us briefly scrutinize the three capacity development areas required.

i)        Human Capacity Development

Guided by the proposed Kenya Space sector organizational framework, human capacity development will start by recruiting already qualified Kenyan professionals to key leadership positions in the sector framework-delineated institutions. Expectedly, this exercise will have to significantly target qualified Kenyan professionals in space technology (and related fields) working abroad. Firstly, the Space Commission, Ministry of Space and other relevant government organs should be adequately staffed. Then, the following institutions should be targeted for the key leadership recruitment exercises; Kenya National Space Agency, National Remote Sensing Agency, National Meteorological Agency, Commercial Space Enterprises Promotion Council and the Space Education Council.

The appointed key leaders will be tasked with sourcing the relevant talents in their respective institutions in-line with the national space sector objectives as guided by the national space technology objectives and sector growth strategy.

A crucial task in human capacity development is the training of graduate-level students at the national space university and teaching undergraduate courses in space science and technology in specific targeted local universities. These students will follow a curriculum chiefly centered on the following space science and technology areas; spacecraft subsystems engineering, launch and space transportation systems, information and communication technologies, humans in aerospace, outer space and earth observation sciences. This human capacity development framework should be propped to continuously supply the domestic space sector with the relevant highly trained workforce.

Staff exchanges and on-site training for Kenyans with the engaged collaborative partners should also commence here to facilitate technology transfer.

ii)      Organizational Capacity development

The proposed Kenya Space sector organizational framework should serve as a blue print for establishing the prerequisite institutions of the Kenyan space sector. This process will naturally flow from the top of the hierarchical structure downwards.

Typical technocratic governmental practices would be employed to establish the Space Commission, Ministry of Space and the ancillary pertinent government regulatory, fiscal and political organs.

The space technology implementing agencies and corresponding councils should all be simultaneously established.

Fortunately, the proposed National Meteorological Agency shall inherent a substantial capability from the current Kenya Meteorological Service. However, as previously stated, this revamped outfit will lay more emphasis on the development and utilization of the incomparable space-based weather monitoring capabilities. Terrestrial instrument measurements would then serve to augment instruments on orbiting platforms. Consequently, an in-house proficiency to develop, operate and exploit space-borne weather observation platforms will have to be nurtured.

The National Space Agency will have to be established from scratch—starting with brick and mortar, equipping the buildings, and finally staffing. A sustainable approach could be to inaugurate the various proposed research centers as departments within the initial headquarters premises then gradually relocate them to the various sites countrywide as we previously outlined.

It is crucial for the Space Education Council to immediately establish the graduate level National Space University and further facilitate in inculcating space science and space technology curricula in targeted local universities at undergraduate and graduate levels. Space science and technology can be broadly categorized into the following five broad Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) areas:

• spacecraft subsystems engineering • launch and space transportation systems • information and communication technologies • humans in aerospace • outer space and earth observation science.

Consequently, brand new faculty departments concentrating on aerospace/astronautics engineering, astronomy, remote sensing etc. will have to be inaugurated in identified local universities. The Space Education Council would play a vital role to encourage and facilitate this venture. For instance, the council would assist with curriculum development, offering research grants and scholarships, pairing these nascent departments with long-established ones in universities from nations with advanced space technology to encourage growth, etc.

Finally, Kenya should adopt a new approach that will exhaustively exploit its membership to regional and global agencies with reinvigorated fervor so as to bolster the burgeoning space sector. (See 2. Organizational Preparedness)

iii)    Societal Capacity development

A considerable expansion of the societal capacity to foster a budding space sector is initially undertaken in Phase 1 of the roadmap to establish a space sector in Kenya. In Phase 3 therefore, continued bolstering of the political, legal and governance capacities to facilitate adoption of space technology will be undertaken.

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5 thoughts on “Kenya Space Sector Formulation—Phase 3

  1. Comment by Vid Beldavs. Via Linkedin
    http://www.linkedin.com/pub/vid-beldavs/6/55/84b

    Peter, I applaud your efforts and will review your website and documents in detail to better understand specific ways how the Space Technology and Science Group Oy, (STSG) may be able to assist you and your associates in advancing the development of the Kenya space sector. STSG is a Finland-based group that can offer launch services, satellite development, space education development services and other capabilities. You can find more information at our website – http://www.spacetsg.com.

    1. Pete – thanks. I have found it useful to start with a specific project to explore capabilities as well as delivery performance. What kind of initiative would help move your agenda forward in Kenya, East-Africa?
      Best wishes,

      Vid Beldavs

  2. Peter –
    Saleh Ahmed, CEO STSG, asked whether you / Kenya would be interested in an initial demonstrator project with educational and some capability building enhancement such as a Cubesat ?

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