Earlier this week, Space in Africa published its report on the state of the African space industry. Between 2019 and 2021, the “new space” industry in Africa has reportedly seen major growth, and is valued at $19.5B as of the end of 2021.
Africa’s space: The space industry in Africa is currently dominated by global navigation satellite system (GNSS) companies and satellite TV providers.
The space industry in Africa, by the numbers:
- 19,000 space industry workers, of which 11,000 are government employees
- 13 nations represented
- 48 satellites manufactured
- 272 “new space” companies on the continent
Driving the growth: Government investment in the space industry nearly doubled between 2019 and 2021. In 2019, African governments invested ~$289M in the space industry. In 2021, that number was $523M—an 81% increase in two years. This year, African governments have allocated a combined $535M to space programs, a ~2% increase over last year.
The report also found that there’s been a shift from companies building larger GEO satellites to opting for smaller satellites in lower orbits—a trend in step with the space industry at large.
Looking ahead: Space in Africa anticipates that the space industry on the continent will continue to grow over the next five years. It projects that the industry will grow more than 16% to $22.6B by 2026.