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The African Union (AU) has rejected a bid by Ghana to host the African Space Centre.

The Commissioner for Human Resources Science and Technology (HRST), Prof Sarah Agbor, has explained that the bid came in very late, leaving the AU with no option but to reject it. 

Speaking at a briefing at the AU headquarters, she said “the deadline for the bid was October 30, 2018, and Ghana came in November so automatically, without even looking at the documents, you [Ghana] were not considered.”

Ethiopia, Egypt, Namibia and Nigeria put in bids but Namibia withdrew from contention later on.

The HRST Commissioner said Egypt, Nigeria and Ethiopia have been shortlisted by an independent high-level panel as possible a host country for the space centre.

She said one of them will soon be announced as the winner of the bid.

In April 2018, the Minister of Environment, Science and Technology, Prof Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, indicated Ghana’s desire to host the space agency and served notices that Ghana was going to put in a bid.

The African Space Policy

The African Space policy and Strategy was adopted by Heads of State and Government of the AU to contribute to the realisation of the AU vision of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful continent, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena.

The policy and strategy is also in response to the aspirations stipulated under Agenda 2063.

Space science has been described as a global good essential in our everyday lives, including for our health, security, education, agriculture, communication and migration, among numerous other needs.

A joint AU-EU operational programme is the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security and Africa (GMES and Africa), designed to contribute to the implementation of the African Space Policy and Strategy.

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