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South Africa Signs Satellite Navigation Agreement with China

By Mark Holmes | December 3, 2021

Illustration of China’s Beidou Navigation Satellite System. Photo: BeiDou.

South Africa and China are developing closer ties in the space industry, and this now extends to satellite navigation. The nations announced Dec. 3 that the South African National Space Agency (SANSA) and China Satellite Navigation Office (CSNO) have signed an MoU for cooperation in satellite navigation.

The MoU includes the intention for collaboration within the field of satellite navigation, strengthening exchanges and cooperation in the domains of satellite navigation technologies, talent cultivation, applications and industrialization as well as research and applications of BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS)/GNSS in geophysics, space science, geodetic survey and other sectors based on GNSS data amongst other interest areas.

This MoU is supported by bilateral cooperation between South Africa and China and has been facilitated through South Africa’s Department of Science and Innovation.

“This is an exciting endeavor for the country as greater investment and support to the space engineering industry will mean growth in scarce engineering skills, strengthening of the knowledge economy and support to government’s goal of addressing poverty through unemployment,” said Mmbonene Moefe, DDG at the Department of Science and Innovation.