Africa’s first private satellite will be launched in 2016.
But scientists and engineers will not be behind this bold move – it is being powered by a group of South African high school girls. Pupils from across Cape Town on Youth Day attended the launch of the ambitious project, run by the Meta Economic Development Organisation (Medo). A shortage of technical skills required for building businesses motivated the company to launch a science, technology, engineering and maths focused programme, explained Medo CEO Judi Sandrock.
“The intention of this programme is not to be a once-off. It is to be the start of at least a decade-long drive to inspire young people to enter the science and technical fields,” she said.
She referred to the National Advisory Council on Innovation in April, confirming that in the 2014 matric results, only 7.6% of pupils passed maths with more than 60%, while 5.5% managed the same in physical science.