The PanAfrican Planetary and Space Science Network (PAPSSN) is an Academic Mobility project funded by the Intra-Africa Mobility Scheme of the Education Audio-visual and Culture Executive Agency of the European Commission.
The overarching objective of PAPSSN is to support the development of a skilled and innovative graduate students’ community and improve their job preparedness for the growing Planetary and Space Science labour market in Africa and foster their capacity of operating local infrastructure, generating local data and engaging with the international community of scientists and entrepreneurs.
This mobility project, capitalizing on the new commitments from the AU and the EU, wishes to develop the next generation of African scientists, leaders, and entrepreneurs by improving their access to high quality STEM education, with particular emphasis on PSS. This development in PSS and technology leads to advances in technology literacy, security, safety, and productivity across a broad front of activities. Many African countries have already identified PSS as step stone for the modernization of their economy and for practical uses such as monitoring of land-use cover change, climate change, drought, hydrology, and natural disasters. Among the unquestioned benefits of PSS in the tertiary education system of African nations is the modernisation of the tertiary education programmes and introduction of new, cutting-edge technologies designed for space and planetary exploration within Africa HEIs and industries. PSS can excite the imagination of the public and stimulates the interest of the youth in science and technology.
A crucial aspect of this mobility programme will be to promote the standardization of PSS programmes by laying down a set of procedures that will be common throughout the consortium. This will, in turn, facilitate the internationalisation of the partner HEIs. It has been demonstrated that developments in PSS help the scientific community to address trans-boundary issues related to developmental and environmental problems, such as water management, and can consolidate international relationships, promote collaborations and optimize the use of limited funds. The PAPSSN will provide a critical venue to bridge the gap between countries with same PSS agenda but different skills and infrastructure thereby delivering the most impactful HE in terms of economic, cultural and livelihood of society. This project will promote a sustainable scientific and higher education strategy for developing PSS in Africa and attract national and international funding for African research institutions through the development of new collaborations and the strengthening of existing ones.