Yesterday, Kenya welcomed representatives from different countries to Nairobi, on a 5-day workshop targeted at training delegates on securing orbital slots.
Speaking at the event, Principal secretary of Broadcasting and Telecoms, Esther Koimett, expressed the country’s delight at hosting the training, stressing the importance of the workshop as helping to improve the capacity of African countries to streamline the satellite orbital resource plan for broadcasting satellite services. Training at the event will feature sessions on compliance, including identification of new orbital positions and frequency channels.
The workshop is in line with the decisions reached last year by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), requires African countries, including Kenya to procure new orbital slots for their telecommunication satellite. The decision, on track for implementation in Kenya, will heighten the performance of its satellite.
Most of these countries currently have satellites stationed at geostationary orbit, mostly too close to cause interference. According to ITU regulations, satellites must be at least two degrees or 1,000km apart to avoid interference. The procurement of these new slots will help boost communication in Kenya, providing access to remote and underserved areas that are currently not on the grid.
Commenting how important owning these slot is to countries, the Acting Director-General of the Communications Authority of Kenya, Mercy Wanjau, having these slots are better as opposed to leasing space, as it is cost-effective. She added trainees at the workshop, by the end of the week-long event, will learn how and where to lock down the orbital slots.
While elaborating further at the event, Ms Koimett acknowledged the importance of satellites to the various sectors of the economy, noting that they are using satellites and its related technologies to extensively deploy services faster. Currently, the country depends on satellites imageries and data to track the current locust situation.
“With satellite application woven in the fabric of our daily lives, we may as well exploit the potential and use them optimally. It is, therefore, upon us to ensure their maximum use for the benefit of humanity,” she said.
Ogechi Onuoha is a Cambridge Certified ESOL editor with a background in reporting, international relations, creative writing and adept in industry research and analysis. She is passionate about curating and evaluating the benefits/relevance of space to grassroots development and women’s participation in the space sector.