Date: 4th Oct 2022
Venue: Mulungushi International Conference Centre, Lusaka
Author: Sean Jacobs Maluti
With the advent of space exploration, more and more countries have seen the need to cultivate and develop their own space initiatives. This growing industry will impact multiple industries and economies throughout the world in the foreseeable future. Recognizing the need to play an active role in the global space economy, Zambia has embarked on multiple programmes in order to champion this cause.
The recent pronouncement of a Satellite Launch by Technology and Science Minister Hon. Felix Mutati in order to increase Digital Services to remote parts of the country will see Zambia at a point of digital revolution. Zambia is strategically positioned to make leaps and bounds in the technological and digital spaces.
In order to acclimatise the populous of the country to the digital, technological and educational initiatives being undertaken by the New Dawn Government, a special emphasis has been placed on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects amongst the nation’s youth. STEM subjects are the gateway to tomorrow’s leaders and the future of our nation taking advantage of and fully utilise all the initiatives currently being promoted and the space industry on a broader scale.
The Future African Space Explorers STEM Academy (FASESA), an organisation built on encouraging space exploration, education and space initiatives in the country has been at the forefront of creating educational programs aimed at increasing student awareness in space exploration and STEM subjects.
To shed light on this, FASESA hosted the first ever World Space Week in Zambia (WSW), which is an annual gathering observed from October 4th to 10th in over 95 nations throughout the world. World Space Week is officially defined as “an International Celebration of Science and Technology, and the contribution to their betterment of the human condition”, and is one of the largest annual space events in the world. In 2019, World Space Week was celebrated with over 8,000 events in 96 countries.
Space Week Zambia was a Space Science Fair that brought together space industry experts in various fields from around the world from organizations and corporations that operate in the space industry. The Space Science Fair included presentations, and keynote speeches aimed at cultivating the Zambian youths’ minds and the general public’s interest in space education and the space industry. Space Week Zambia provided educational and networking opportunities in the African context of engaging the Global Space Industry.
Students and other participants learnt about how space can make our lives on Earth more sustainable and the various employment opportunities available in the space industry. Students participated in an immersive space experience through reading, virtual tours, and virtual reality experiences.
FASESA in partnership with the Zambian Government through the Ministry of Technology and Science and the Ministry of Education will continue to create and champion initiatives that grow the technology and education sectors in our great country.