Space science education in the African continent
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Through measurement and interpretation of the spectral, spatial and temporal variations in electromagnetic emissions and reflections from the Earth's surface, important information related to natural resources can be acquired. Furthermore, satellite technology has greatly improved the communication and positioning techniques world-wide. Consequently, space science now provides valuable and timely information about natural resources, which has become a major factor in sustainable development. The realization of the full potential of space science in the context of development in Africa requires adequate education and training in order to facilitate project formulation, planning, management and implementation. This, in turn, would lead to the formulation and adoption of national space science policies based on user needs and addressing both the short and long-term needs of a particular country. Space science education in Africa needs to address issues like (i) provision of programmes, (ii) integration of the proposed techniques within the existing infrastructure, and (iii) training in Remote Sensing, Global Positioning System, Geographic Information System and other space science techniques, in order to ensure the successful implementation of space science projects within the continent. In this context, African universities ought to play a major role in space science training, research, consultancy and publication. Through international co-operation, it is possible to develop and support national, regional and international training programmes and international scientific exchange in Africa.