By Spy Uganda
Kampala: The government of Uganda has announced that it in preparations to build its own satellite station in Uganda with the main objective of developing Uganda’s space capabilities in a well-coordinated and harmonized manner.
This has been revealed by the statement released by the Ministry of ICT containing decisions of Cabinet meeting of 22nd March 2021 at State House, noting that the country is ready to venture into space technology.
According to the statement, the move will help the country to leverage Space Science and Technology for Sustainable Development with the following benefits and expected outcomes including:
1. Increased evidence-based technology information for planning and decision making; Improved Space Science and Technology Infrastructure to support Research for Industrial Development of the Country;
2. Improved defense and security through improved capabilities for cross border movement monitoring and surveillance for the Country;
3. Increased Private Sector Investment in Space Science, Technology Research and Innovation. This will in the end enhance Foreign Direct Investment and collaborations, which will, in turn, attract or spur the development of new technologies in the Country;
4. Improve National Earth observation and remote sensing centres for the Country;
user and player of the outer space;
6. Increased Human Resource capacity to facilitate the development of Space Technology in the Country among others.
Genesis Of This Satellite Proposal
Earlier in 2019, Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni pushed for space technology research with Russia after a meeting with delegates from the Russian-Uganda Intergovernmental Commission on Economic, Science and Technical Cooperation in June.
Just a month in the same year, Museveni held another bilateral meeting with the Russian President, Vladimir Putin and different leaders of Russia and Africa exploring partnerships in areas of space science and technology during the 2019 Russia-Africa summit.
Later, it was confirmed by Dr Elioda Tumwesigye, the Ugandan Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation at the 2019 World Science Day held in Makerere University, Kampala, that Uganda is making serious plans to launch a national space program with the launch of its first satellite in 2022.
The Minister said, in achieving this, the government is investing 200 million Uganda Shillings (about USD 54,000) annually for capacity development in the next coming years, and will be sending three engineers to Japan to study space science as part of their capacity development programs with the aim of developing and launch the country’s first satellite into space by 2022.
Meanwhile, Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia are the only East African countries that have launched a satellite into space, while Mauritius is currently working on its first satellite.