GIS - 17 December, 2018: The Second African Space Generation Workshop was launched today at the Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre in Bell Village. The Minister of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research, Mrs Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomun and the Minister of Technology, Communication and Innovation, Mr Yogida Sawmynaden, were present at the opening ceremony.
In her keynote address, Minister Dookun-Luchoomun, highlighted that space technology has come up with new ways of addressing challenges and has made a huge impact on mankind, economic and social life.
She underlined that people need to get rid of the prevailing misconception about developed countries being the only ones to access space technology, rockets and satellite. She pointed out that the African continent has enormous potentials for developing innovative solutions to drive business and further development which is clearly demonstrated by the increasing interest of the African region in space tech and science.
The Minister emphasised that Mauritius as a Small Island Developing State, is harnessing its expertise in space technology so as to encourage developmental progress for social change, economic development, resource conservation and disaster management. She also underpinned the contributions of the youth in emerging technologies such as space technology, artificial intelligence, the blockchain and the Internet of Things.
For his part, the Minister of Technology, Communication and Innovation, Mr Yogida Sawmynaden, pointed out that space technologies serve as appropriate tools in assisting evidence-based policy-making and have a positive influence on sustainable development goals.
Mauritius, he underscored, is investing in space and astronomy so as to leap forward technologically and create a better future for its citizens and is extending its support in one of the biggest scientific endeavour namely the Square Kilometre Array (SKA).
The Minister also spoke of the MIR-SAT1, the first Mauritian Nanosatellite, which is expected to provide better monitoring and decision-making as regards land-based and maritime- activities. He concluded by highlighting that satellite technology could provide Mauritius with a transformational science and re-define our understanding of space related phenomena.
The two-day workshop on the theme “Launching Africa: Space Exploration, Innovation and Business” is an initiative of the Space Generation Advisory Council and the Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre. The objectives of the workshop are to enhance capacity building, foster innovation and urging discussions on regional space and scientific issues that are targeted to support future regional and global space policy initiatives.
Some 80 delegates including both local and international students, young professionals, scientists, industry leaders and governmental representatives are attending the event. The plenary sessions will focus on: Space Law and Policy, Space Business and Entrepreneurship, STEAM and Outreach; and SDGs and Capacity Building, amongst others.
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