Space connectivity for fast, secure, remote and cross-border connectivity remains a priority.

In the EU, and following the establishment of the GovSatCom component in the EU Space Programme Regulation, the Infrastructure for Resilience, Interconnectivity, and Security by Satellite (IRIS²) constellation aims to offer enhanced communication capacities to governmental users and businesses, while ensuring high-speed internet broadband, in line with the provisions of the Union Secure Connectivity Programme 2023-2027. According to the European Union Agency for the Space Programme, IRIS² is scheduled to achieve global coverage by 2027, potentially involving the deployment of up to 170 Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites, with initial launches anticipated to commence this year. IRIS² is expected to present opportunities also for African stakeholders, as highlighted by the EU Global Action on Space event in October 2023, which was a component of the inaugural African Union – European Union Space Dialogue, held in Senegal.

Other initiatives for secure space connectivity are also under way. For instance, Spain plans to launch the first of the two new-generation satellites in 2024, the SpainSat NG I. The objective of the encrypted communications spacecraft is to provide secure communications to the Spanish government. Likewise, in in inFebruary, Nigeria launched Project 774 LG Connectivity, which aims to provide local governments with reliable and cost-effective internet access, along with the necessary resources to enhance the delivery of public services.