Sara Sabry of Egypt, the first African woman in space, is calling for more Africans to participate in space exploration and take advantage of related technologies and economic opportunities.
“I don’t think space should be such an exclusive club. To be the first at something is to kick down the door for others to follow,” Sabry said during a panel discussion this week in Togo. “It is important for Africa to have a seat at the table and be involved in space exploration. The demographic in space must reflect that of people on Earth.”
Investment in satellites and space technology can assist developing African nations with applications in agriculture, education, banking and more.
Sabry was in Lomé to participate in the Africa50 Infra Forum alongside African Development Bank chief Akinwumi Adesina and senior AfDB advisor Victor Oladokun. She is the founder of the nonprofit Deep Space Initiative and last year traveled aboard the New Shepard rocket developed by Blue Origin, an American aerospace company founded by Jeff Bezos of Amazon.
Both Oladokun and Adesina commended Sabry on her leadership.
“As a young African scientist, you give hope that young people can be in space despite the odds. It is often said that women can do what men can do, but I can say that women can do better than men,” Adesina said.