Tales from the African Space Generation Workshop


by Ahmed Abdi

Tales from the African Space Generation Workshop 

Ahmed Abdi, winner of the Consensys Scholarship, tells us more about his experience attending the African Space Generation Workshop.

The African Space Generation Workshop (AF-SGW) is a two day regional SGAC event that is held once a year in a different country in Africa. This year’s SGAC AF-SGW was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, with the aim of bringing together space experts and young Africans to exchange ideas about how to advance space activities on the continent. 

The programme consisted of panels of speakers discussing their work and expertise in order to inspire young African space enthusiasts. In addition, the working groups encouraged collaboration between the delegates, and provided a platform for them to find a solution and tailored recommendations for an issue faced by the continent from a space perspective.

Day One

The launch of the AF-SGW started with a welcome address and a few keynote speeches.  The speakers included H. E Mr Tefera Walwa from Ethiopian Space Science Society Mr. Meshak Kinyua from African Union,and Kim Macharia from TruSat, who gave a talk on  ‘Increasing Access to Space Endeavours’.

As you can see from the picture above, the delegates were attentively interested in the talk that Kim Macharia gave. This talk was interesting for me as well as I am passionate about democratising the access to space, particularly for African countries. 

Next, the young professionals got separated into working groups, where I had the opportunity of moderatoring Working Group 3 (WG3) called ‘STEAM and Outreach – The Crucial Role of the Youth in the Space Sector’.

The working groups sessions extended over both days of the workshop.

During the first day, the other two moderators and I ensured the members of our working group got to know each other, and helped them in being more comfortable sharing their ideas and brainstorming freely with their fellow group members. Some of the topics covered included strategies on how to prepare themselves for their presentation, and how to relay their “solution” in regards to the topic of their theme: ‘WG3: STEAM and Outreach – The Crucial Role of the Youth in the Space Sector’.

The finishing event of the first day consisted of  a panel discussion I was part of,called: ‘African Youth Space Quest’. Here I gave a little talk while answering questions about my space journey and some of the space activities I organised, such as the ‘Somalia Space Workshops’. After the panel discussion we had the closing session of day one.

Day Two

The second day started with Allen Herbert from NanoRacks and Minoo Rathnasabapathy from MIT Media Lab giving a talk about their company and the work they do. 

Then talks were followed by a panel discussion called: ‘Women in Space in Africa’. This panel was very interesting and needed, as inclusion of women in space in Africa is significantly important to advance space activities, and inspire the next generation, particularly young African girls.

The second day was significantly focussed on the working groups and making sure the presentations were finalised to be presented at the end of the day. This was the day ideas brainstormed the day before were shaped into something others could capture, imagine and envision. It was a day of heavy discussions , with every member of the working groups  trying to explain their point of view/perspectives and convince others.

I find the picture above particularly funny because here it looks like we were having a go at each other but in reality, we were simply just exchanging ideas, asking questions, sharing our views among others. While a few of us were doing further research online, others looked like they almost wanted to throw the towel and call it a day.

Eventually, we came with key focus areas that consisted out of six or seven points which three group members had to present.

Being a moderator was both a joyful and a learning experience for me as it was my first ever SGAC event where I was moderating. It was great to see the enthusiasm and engagement of the group members, and above all, to see them collaborate and come up with solutions and recommendations for the topic of their working group.


In conclusion, the African Space Generation Workshops (AF-SGW) was a wonderful event not to be missed out. I believe more and more young Africans should be given the opportunity to attend such events and  contribute to advancing space activities in Africa. 


Once again, I would like to thank the Consensys Space Team in particular Kim Macharia from TruSat who awarded me the TruSat African Scholarship. This was greatly appreciated and meant a lot as it gave me the opportunity to attend the AF-SGW, inspire and get inspired by young African space enthusiasts, exchange ideas and network.

I would also like to express my interest for further collaboration to advance space activities in Africa, particularly space entrepreneurship to tackle the huge unemployment rate that is adding to the instability in many parts of the continent. 

Ahmed Abdi is the SGAC Africa Regional Partnerships Manager, and Founder and Programme Manager of Africa Space Workshop. For more information about the space activities he organises, follow his Twitter @Spacenomad252 and visit https://africaspaceworkshops.org/. Ahmed has a great interest in exploring collaboration opportunities, so please feel free to reach out in regards to organising events in the African region.