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"Head in the stars"

Head in the stars

The space sector has become highly strategic for many African states wishing to acquire their own space capacity for water resources monitoring applications, deforestation, illegal fishing or for assistance to agriculture. . Rather than the purchase of turnkey space systems, the desire of many governments is to acquire their own competence by training the managers and technicians of their future agencies. These training courses lead to the construction and launch of nanosatellites, a field in which the University of Montpellier has developed internationally recognized expertise. We will discuss possible partnerships and explore the different possibilities for cooperation.

8: 30- 8:45

Opening of sessions

by Jean Claude Gayssot - Former Minister, President of the Van Allen Foundation, President of the Port of Sète & Dr Nabil Mohamed Ahmed, Minister of Higher Education and Research MENSUR Djibouti TBC

8:45 - 10:45

Nanosatellites: Technologies and Missions + Technologies for earth observation: satellite imagery, drones and geospatial data for environmental and agricultural management


The New Space now allows access to space at a lower cost, in particular by means of nanosatellites. This round table will focus on Missions, applications and technology to be implemented or developed.

What are the needs in terms of spatial data and what are the means to obtain it?

The guests will discuss the programs being structured in Djibouti, Senegal and more generally on the scale of the African continent. Nanosatellites offer African states wishing to acquire their own space capacity, an instrument for training and access to space quickly and at a lower cost.


  • Laurent Dusseau (CSU)  

  • Nicolas Baghdadi (INRAE)


Panel participants:

  • Robert Van Zyl , South Africa, Director of the Africa Space Innovation Center *  

  • Sékou Ouedraogo , President of the African Astronautics & Space Organization, Burkina-Faso

  • Ifriky Tadadjeu , South Africa, founder of the startup - Nanosatellite Missions Design

  • Nicolas Wuyam , Latecoère Group, Montpellier, France

  • Dr Aboubaker Hassan , Djibouti, Secretary General of Djibouti MESRI *

  • Pr. Mamadou Sy , Director of Strategies and Planning, Senegal

  • Gayane Faye , Director of the Applied Remote Sensing Laboratory (LTA)

  • Dr. Mohamed Jalludin , Director of the Center for Studies and Research of Djibouti

11:15 - 12:15

The challenges of training for space (applications, remote sensing, communication)

The transfer of skills in the space field requires rigorous training of technicians and engineers. Djiboutian and Senegalese partners will present their experience of the program set up at the University of Montpellier. The University of Montpellier offers a program aimed at training the executives and senior technicians of an entity wishing to acquire space capacity. After an academic phase leading to a diploma, the practical training supervised at the CSUM leads to the launch of a nanosatellite. The partners involved in this program, decision-makers but also students will come to testify about their experience


  Lionel torres  (University of Montpellier, MUSE Pole MIPS, Polytech Montpellier)

Panel participants:
Prof. Laurent Dusseau - Montpellier, University of Montpellier, Director of the CSUM

  Dr. Mohamed AK Jalludin , Djibouti, Director of CERD *
Mohamed Fathi (Djibouti) and Mouhameth Tall (Senegal), former students of the Specialized Master in Space Systems Development

  Gayane Faye , Director of the Applied Remote Sensing Laboratory (LTA)

  Dr Nicolas Baghdadi , Research Director at INRAE


* Speakers in videoconference

All the conferencesare accessible remotely.

The experts

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Laurent Dusseau

Laurent Dusseau, 52, doctor from the University of Montpellier, has taught at the University of Arizona and Polytech Montpellier. Appointed professor at the IUT of Nîmes and researcher at the IES in the RADIAC group, he created in 2011 the University Space Center and Montpellier of which he is director. Since 2019 he has also headed the Van Allen Foundation.

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Nicolas Baghdadi

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Robert Van Zyl

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Sékou Ouedraogo

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Ifriky Tadadjeu

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Nicolas wuyam

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Aboubaker Hassan

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Mamadou Sy

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Gayane Faye

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Mohamed jalludin

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Lionel torres

Lionel Torres, Doctor of the University of Montpellier, has been a University Professor since 2004, he is currently Director of the MIPS Research Center at ISITE MUSE and also Director of the Ecole Polytechnique Universitaire de Montpellier (Polytech Montpellier). He performs his research activity as LIRMM, in the ADAC team and is particularly interested in cybersecurity and the design of low-power integrated systems.

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Mamadou Diallo Diouf

Pr Mamadou Diallo Diouf is University Lecturer in Telecommunications at the Polytechnic School of Thiès (EPT), in SENEGAL. He obtained his engineering degree in electronics and telecommunications from Gaston Berger University (UGB) in Saint-Louis, SENEGAL. He holds a doctorate in telecommunications at the Cheikh Anta Diop University (UCAD) of Dakar in SENEGAL. His research focuses on the radio coverage of telecommunications networks, optical fiber transmission systems of the

FTTx, RoF (Radio over fiber) optical fiber radio technology, next-generation communication systems architectures, wireless network virtualization (VWN), etc. He is also the deputy head of the external relations and cooperation services, responsible for internships and the integration of EFA graduates. Pr Diouf is also a member of the coordinating team of the Nano-satellite type space systems development project, SENSAT-1A.

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