Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi announced that the country’s first satellite, Bot-Sat-1, which was kicked off in December 2020, is set to be launched in 2023, during his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, 14th November 2022.
The satellite will be utilised to generate useful data to solve developmental challenges in Botswana especially in the communications, internet, weather forecasting, agricultural, land resources mapping, television broadcasting, and tourism industries which will be the backbone of the knowledge economy within Vision 2036 and the Reset Agenda of Botswana.
According to a release by The Voice, the President stated in his address that the project will make Botswana one of the few African countries with an orbiting satellite, reflecting the nation’s hunger for a knowledge-based economy. “The Bot-SAT-1 will bring Botswana into the global satellite eco-system for research and development in a variety 32 of disciplines,” said President Masisi.
The same sources stated that Professor Abraham Atta Ogwu, the head of the satellite project and BIUST Deputy Vice Chancellor-Research, Development and Innovation, said the team has completed the first phase of the ground communication station which will be commissioned on 29th November 2022, after which the satellite will be launched next year. The professor further affirmed that the aim of the project is indigenous capacity development for future projects to help the country develop a knowledge-based economy.
The Bot-Sat-1 project is a joint project involving a team from the Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST), AAC Space Africa and Planet Labs.