Windhoek-Vice Chancellor of the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) Tjama Tjivikua has said the proposed establishment of Namibia Space Data Centre (NSDC) directly supports major goals of sustainable and equitable economic growth of the National Development Plan 5 (NDP5).
Tjivikua noted this in his welcoming remarks at the NUST and Airbus Space Data Centre Stakeholder workshop that is familiarising the country’s stakeholders with the objectives, applications and benefits of Earth observation satellite imagery and allied technology for Namibia.
“This initiative is a step in the right direction of achieving some of our goals as set in our National Space Science Strategy and supports directly some major goals of our NDP5 of sustainable and equitable economic growth, development of human resources, ensuring a sustainable environment and promoting effective data enabled good governance”, said the NUST vice chancellor.
The workshop follows an agreement between NUST and Airbus in February to collaborate in establishing a Virtual Space Data Centre, to be hosted by NUST in Windhoek, which will assist the country in monitoring and growing key elements of its economy.
Tjivikua said the establishment of NSDC would encourage the development of spin-off SMEs in specialised fields of Earth observation, thereby adding economic value to the centre. “This will foster the development of high-value employment that contributes to the attainment of Namibia’s priorities and the UN Sustainable Development Goals,” he added.
The key objectives of NSDC is to cater for satellite images requested from national stakeholders, and to be of benefits academic researchers, to promote SME development and capacity building in the required fields of engineering, as well as skilled end users of data.
Senior lecturer in electrical and computer engineering Smita Francis highlighted the role of NUST in the establishment of NSDC, noting that the new university ought to drive, promote and facilitate development of capacity and infrastructure in space, as well as develop and promote the space industry in Namibia.