The United Arab Emirates Space Agency and South African National Agency signed an agreement for cooperation in the exploration and use of space for peaceful purposes. This agreement seeks to establish a non-binding mutual framework for pursuing cooperation between the two countries. It is deemed also to promote and organize the exchange of information and technical expertise.

Dr Val Munsami, the Chief Executive Officer of SANSA, stated that the agreement will ensure that areas of cooperation are spelt-out and explored which includes the respective space industries of both countries. “Part of our mandate is to assist in developing the local industry through sourcing out work that we intend doing to the local industry, and in that way it stimulates the industry. We also work with a few start-ups, especially black empowered start-ups”.

Dr. Ahmad bin Abdullah Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills UAE, expressed his delight on the agreement. He said he was looking forward to identifying more areas of cooperation. He pointed out collaboration and cooperation as significant to the enhance space diplomacy at work. Dr. Al Falasi stated that the agreement was not about the countries, but about benefit of human kind.

According to Mr Bulelani Magwanishe, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, South Africa has expressed keen interest in global partnerships concerning Space exploration and innovation and will continue, to prioritize this area for economic development. He further stated that many visitors at the South African stand at the UNISPACE+50 Exhibition were impressed by the programs, component parts, and particularly the university programmes in satellite engineering and about the second Cube SAT that the Cape Peninsula University of Technology has developed and is ready to launch.