Rwanda will in July this year launch its first satellite into lower orbit space, signaling yet another step of progress in its broader National Space Research agenda. Engineers from Rwanda and Japan have been working in close collaboration to develop a cube satellite which is expected to provide much needed data about the country’s environment, agriculture and other sectors. Remember in May, 2018, we reported that Rwanda have started training engineers towards its first satellite launch; the satellite is named RWASAT.
Rwanda sent some of its fine engineers to Japan to work on this project in partnership with Tokyo University and one of the products has been presented to Rwanda at the transform Africa summit which has been running under the theme “Boosting African digital economy”. It has two cameras for monitoring agriculture status, an antenna for data collections.
According to Risk Atlas for Rwanda, an annual combined assault by disasters could cost the country a massive Rwf100 billion ($132 million) loss which is bigger than the budget allocated to the agriculture sector.
Such cube satellites could be instrumental in providing substantial data to help the government in planning ahead of time to avert possible disaster related incidences while also helping in providing vital data for Agriculture and meteorology.
“I appreciate the partnership. When we started shaping and designing our national space program, we knew building capacities were going to be a foundation. We have been working with different partners, specifically the government of Japan and university of Tokyo,” the Minister said.
According to Minister Ingabire, this result is a testament to some of the work that has been going on in building capacities and helping Rwandan engineers to build cube satellites and other types of equipment. “This is the beginning of the broader space program Rwanda has ventured in and we look forward for the launch in the next two months.”