Cameroon readies to launch space programme
Cameroon's intentions to launch a space programme have advanced following the selection of a consortium of technical consulting firms to conduct an in-depth technical feasibility study.
The group, made up of consulting firms Euroconsult Intergc Sarl and Digiglobe, was recently hired by the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications to investigate the institutional and regulatory approach, as well as the procedures involved in the deployment of a space programme.
The deal, worth more than 2 billion CFA (about $3.2 million), is projected to last 11 months.
According to Cameroon's Minister of Posts and Telecommunications, Minette Libom Li: "Given Cameroon's numerous assets as a Central African leader, its conquest of the space sector will create a new market and boost innovation and research in many related fields such as big data, astronomy, artificial intelligence, robotics, and so on. This area will encourage entrepreneurship, the development of various agricultural solutions, natural disaster management, regional planning, and so on.”
Cameroon began planning to launch its own operational satellite in 2019 when it formed an inter-ministerial group to review the space programme.
The consortium has been tasked with researching potential sites for space programme components, economic feasibility, and defence and security challenges associated with the country's space programme execution.
Furthermore, the consultancy will include a detailed environmental and social impact assessment of the project, as well as a proposed management plan in accordance with local regulations, as well as a report highlighting annual maintenance costs by component and type of work over a 20-year period.
Aside from advising the government on the best sort of contract for the space project (public service, public-private partnership, etc.), the technical consulting firms will help the government determine whether to abandon or continue the project.