Egypt’s Initiative for Climate Change Monitoring in Africa


On November 3rd, 2022, at a conference on Egypt’s efforts to develop space capabilities was held where the Chairman of the concerned space committee, Dr. Muhandes Ahmed Faraj has said “Egypt will soon launch two new satellites, one of them is an African development satellite that will monitor climate changes in Africa, and the second is a plasma satellite that will monitor the climate properties in the upper layers of the atmosphere.” He added that the conference’s purpose was to “determine the role of satellites in monitoring climate changes and temperature differences, using specialized satellites with sensors capable of providing details of climate change in the coming years.” The first ever satellite specifically made to detect the climate change across Africa will be launched, as per the plan revealed by the Egyptian Syndicate of Engineers’ Space Committee in collaboration with China. The choice to launch this satellite coincides with the COP27 UN Climate Change Conference, which will start officially on November 6th, 2022. In order to better control the repercussions before they become too harmful, the satellite will monitor the effects of the climate crisis across the African continent including erosion, sea levels, and desertification. This is an important step in addressing climate issues, especially in the countries that are most vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. During the meeting, the head of the Egyptian Syndicate of Engineers’ Space Committee announced that a prototype of the satellite would be on exhibit during COP27 in order to disclose the plans and the objectives of the new project.

Prior to the announcement, the Egyptian Space Committee of the Syndicate of Engineers conducted a conference on October 22nd, 2022, to talk about the country’s efforts to build its space capabilities for combating climate change and assuring Egypt’s sustainable development. In order to provide an update on Egypt’s space and satellite development initiatives aimed at combating climate change and success stories from the country’s current space initiatives, the conference with the theme “Space Science and Technology for Climate Actions” brought together key personnel within the space science and technology space. The conference mentioned that Egypt will launch a second satellite in 2023 to measure the amount of plasma in the upper atmosphere using specialized sensors and high-quality thermal cameras. This satellite would also be sent to Mars to carry out a number of tasks, including measuring infrared and violet rays, figuring out how much water is present on Mars and determining whether life could possibly exist there. He continued by saying that one of the goals of the General Syndicate of Engineers’ Space Committee is to promote the field of space science and technology research in order to counteract the unfavorable weather conditions that are currently occurring and are expected in the future due to climate change.
One of the most important concerns facing us in the future decades is climate change. There is an urgent need for coordinated measures because the disastrous effects of climate change, including longer droughts, more frequent wildfires, loss of sea ice and an increase in the frequency, duration, and intensity of tropical storms, are being felt on a global scale. Cyclones that ravaged Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe in Southern Africa in March and April 2019 claimed hundreds of lives while hurting thousands more and uprooting tens of thousands of people. Over 1.9 million people across the region were impacted by the natural disaster, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Climate Change is one of the biggest human and environmental crises of the twenty-first century being faced by Africans, their governments, and the African Union (AU). It has been stated that intense conflicts are a direct result of climate change, making it crucial to develop a thorough understanding of the phenomena throughout Africa.

The initiative taken by Egypt will help to monitor the effects of climate change that are being felt in the form of more climate variability, shifting rainfall patterns, higher temperatures and increasing sea levels, which are resulting in negative impacts on a large portion of the regional population. When the satellite will be launched it will assist gather information about Africa’s climate system. The satellite will contribute to the provision of precise measurements of the atmosphere and land temperature, so that necessary steps can be taken. According to a report, using satellites to monitor changes in water, land, construction, and vegetation can possibly transform economies and generate more than $2 billion in benefits annually for Africa alone. This satellite initiative can be proved as one of Africa’s most significant assets, that can help to address issues like food security, deforestation, water scarcity and other problems associated with climate catastrophe in the region.



Ezba Walayat

Research Associate, Pakistan House

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