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African Aerospace Forum: First D2D program committed to aerospace in region

February 21, 2023

By Matthias Inbar

An Israeli delegation led by the Israel Space Agency led efforts to integrate the Abraham Accords for possible cooperation in aerospace

The first Decider to Decider (D2D) forum dedicated to aerospace in Africa took place last week in Casablanca, Morocco, touching on key topics from carbon-free planes, to cybersecurity, and the militarization of space.

It was organized by GIMAS – a group of Moroccan aeronautics and space industries, headed by its director-general and general commissioner of the Forum, Maria el-Filali.

Morocco’s Industry Minister Ryad Mezzour and Transportation Minister Mohammed Abdeljalil recalled that it was necessary “to provide the means for its ambitions in terms of air transport and aerospace development.” Congo Minister Jean-Jacques Bouya affirmed that “pooling everyone’s skills in the service of civil resources is one of our objectives.” 

Also present was Senegal’s Transportation Minister Doudou Ka, along with several CEOs of African airlines.

Jean-Paul Palomeros, a former general of France’s Air Force, and former French foreign minister Hubert Vedrine, alongside former NATO officials, discussed the fundamental role of the militarization of space through expertise, as the question of the sovereignty of territories is at the heart of aerospace in Africa.

For his part, Cheick Modibo Diarra, Mali’s former prime minister and a former director of NASA's Mars Exploration program, insisted on the importance of aerospace development for the protection of borders and the dynamism of resources among African civilian populations.

The forum also resonated as an unmissable meeting of big names in aerospace, such as presidents and vice presidents of multinationals like General Electric, Safran, Thales, and Boeing, as well as several directors of airports and civil aviation firms in Africa. An Israeli delegation led by the director of the Israel Space Agency, Uri Oron, also worked to integrate the Abraham Accords in efforts for cooperation.

This D2D forum was a unique opportunity to discuss existential issues in areas that have a direct impact on the sovereignty, safety, and protection of African civil and security resources in the fields of aerospace and aeronautics.

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