Alcatel Alenia Space has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), a leading research and development, technology and innovation institution in South Africa, to consolidate global cooperation in the space market and to leverage their respective competencies and knowledge.

Under the terms of this agreement, the two organisations will join forces to develop space science skills initially in South Africa and then contribute to the national Human Resource Development objectives. Furthermore, they will combine their respective skills and contribute to improving the quality of life in South Africa and throughout Africa. Many areas of cooperation have been identified, which include landcover mapping, broadband solutions via satellite dedicated to tele-epidemiology, satellite navigation and transport applications, development in astronomy related initiatives, and spatial data infrastructure.

This initiative is part of Alcatel's Sustainable Development strategy, which consists of partnering with local players, associations and other stakeholders, to propose solutions that combine technologies and services. "Alcatel is very glad to sign this MoU with CSIR," said Linda Khumalo, from Alcatel in South Africa. "We believe that this agreement will pave the way for the implementation of space projects enabling us to bridge the digital divide within Africa."