From 4 to 7 October 2014, Antananarivo citizens (Madagascar) had the opportunity to attend the UN World Space Week. Organized each year since 1999 by a resolution of the United Nations, this global event is the biggest dedicated to space. This year, Via Space Madagascar has been invited to take part in the organization by coordinator Charles Ratsifaritana, an astrophysician and professor at the Antananarivo ENS.
On 4, 5 and 6 October 2014, our team animated an exhibition at the National Library, siding with HABAKA, a national association for the promotion of sciences, the National Meteorological Institute and the National Institute of Geography and Hydography. We debated over the weekend with enthusiastic visitors on how satellite communications could change lives in areas where traditional networks are not available. On Monday, many school groups attended the exhibition and received special demonstrations from our teams. We screened educational movies on satellite technologies and satellite telecommunications, distributed activity books for children and various informative leaflet. Thanks to the European Commission support, we could also provide the audience with documentation and goodies related to Copernicus, the new European satellite specialized in imagery.
Students discovering the Meteolorogical center
On 7 October 2014, the French Institute held a conference attended by the main actors of the satellite sector in Madagascar. Titled “Satellite technologies helping development in Madagascar”, this event had an ambitious goal : “We want to make people aware of the possibilities offered by spatial technologies and show them how we can use satellite services to boost the country development” Pr. Charles Ratsifaritana explained. Via Space Madagascar’s director, Mr Eric Ramaoroson and sales manager, Mr Andry Razafimaharo spoke about Inmarsat and Iridium networks and explained how they proved many times their efficiency in developing countries and emergency situations. They also suggested ways the two networks could help bridge the gap between connected cities and remote regions in Madagascar.
Mr Andry Razafimaharo explaining at the French Institute how Inmarsat and Iridium networks could benefit people in remote areas of Madagascar
This conference was followed by an exceptional video-conference with American astronaut Daniel Tani who answered all the questions asked by Malagasy students.
Via Space Madagascar wishes to thank Pr Charles Ratsifaritana for having organized such an exciting event!