The announcement came from the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar, preceding the House of Representatives approval to establish Egypt's first space agency.
In an exciting turn of events in Egypt's efforts to pierce the heavens, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar announced that the country will soon have the capability of launching its first scientific research satellite somewhere around July of 2018.
Abdel-Ghaffar further added that about 70 percent of the satellite's components will be manufactured locally, with the aid of both China and Japan. In addition, plans to fully manufacture the components locally are expected to see realisation between 2020 to 2022. This is followed by the House of Representatives' approval of the new space agency law, “The Egyptian Space Agency will be set up on Cairo-Suez Road and will be mainly devoted to manufacturing the components of the country’s first satellite and attracting all Egyptian space scientists to Egypt’s Space and Satellite City on Cairo Suez Road,” said Abdel-Ghaffar, adding that “China will help Egypt build this city and manufacture the satellite components.”
The decision has been met with overall positive reception, with points raised by the Abdel-Ghaffar about the programme's contribution of at least 10 percent to the national income, likening the contribution to countries the likes of England, with other points raised by members of parliament highlighting the importance of cooperation with countries such as Chine and Japan, increased self-sufficiency with Egypt's scientists and capabilities as well as praise for Egypt's entry into both the space and nuclear clubs of the world. Initially, Egypt's satellite initiative will chiefly focus on scientific research and national security.