ZASpace aims to grow SA’s geospatial sector

ZASpace Inc, driven by key industry stakeholders with support from the South African National Space Agency (SANSA), is a broad-based industry forum that has been designed to demystify space for business.

ZASpace aims to grow SA’s geospatial sector
ZASpace aims to grow SA’s geospatial sector

ZASpace aims to grow SA’s geospatial sector

ZASpace Inc, driven by key industry stakeholders with support from the South African National Space Agency (SANSA), is a broad-based industry forum that has been designed to demystify space for business.

At the same time it aims to develop skills and funding innovation to propel the growth of the sector across the continent – across the space value chain from upstream to end users. “ZASpace is of strategic importance to the future trajectory of the South African space sector,” says Dr Valanathan Munsami, CEO of SANSA.

“We have had decades of missed opportunity, where we have outsourced and offshored our technology needs,” says Kamal Ramsingh, CEO of ZASpace. “This has proved that it’s a fallacy to assume that the growth and transformation of the geospatial sector will be a natural consequence of increased demand for products and services.

The first of its kind in Africa – and one of very few such initiatives around the world – ZASpace will prioritise innovation-based funding for SMMEs and start-ups by creating opportunities for participation by private equity, venture capital and other funding institutions.

ZASpace will provide a platform for both upstream and downstream industry players to co-operate and engage in the growth of the sector.  “For the next five-year planning cycle, commencing 2020, South Africa will be charting a new strategic direction for our national space programme and ZASpace Inc will be a critical partner in forging stronger public-private sector partnerships.

“SANSA is looking forward to working closely with the newly formed forum.” He adds that the value of ZASpace was immediately apparent to stakeholders. Siyabonga Copiso, CEO of Amaya Space, which aims to launch South Africa’s first constellation of nano-satellites, pledged the use of the constellation to ZASpace at the launch event, and the Department of Trade and Industry also offered its backing at the event, offering to sit on the foundational ZASpace Working Committee.

Other members of the working committee include Charmaine Houvet from Cisco, Davis Cook from RIIS, Imraan Saloojee from SANSA, Pieter Coetzee from SelfTrack, Rebatho Madiba from Transnet, Robert van Zyl from Amaya Space, Seshan Krishnamurti from Dimension Data, Sives Govender from EIS Africa, Thuli Khanyile from NkaThuto Edupropeller, and Kamal Ramsingh from GeoInt.