The agency has been pushed for by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) since 2008. It would be a civilian project like European Space Agency (ESA). Dr Omar al Emam, of the Arab Science and Technology Foundation, said an agency for the Middle East and –North Africa already had unofficial support from some governments and hoped that a regional organisation for disseminating satellite images could form an early foundation. The agency could monitor security and environmental changes with equatorial satellites. It wouldn't develop its own launch capability though as that is commercially available.
A regional agency would reduce the cost of putting satellites into orbit and pool talent and research. Plans were submitted to the region's governments and pushed for at the Global Space Technology Forum in December 2009. The UAE had already launched satellites and established an Earth Observation Space Center in Abu Dhabi.