Following the path of University of Michigan, MIT, University of Texas and other top universities around the globe, the International University of East Africa (IUEA) has submitted an application to the Uganda Communication Commission(UCC) to permit them to build their educational satellite which would be named the Satellite One (IUEA UGA. SAT 1).
This is in line with the country’s history of providing academic excellence by making use of advancement in technology to better their economy. In November 2019, Dr Elioda Tumwesigye, the Ugandan Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation announced Uganda’s plan to launch its first satellite by 2022.
The state minister for higher education also acknowledged IUEA’s request to the government for a licence to allow their operation in Uganda’s space.
The University’s vice-chancellor Dr Emeka Akaezuwa said, “the satellite project will involve the combined scientific, engineering and practical dexterity of IUEA’s faculty of science, faculty of engineering, department of environmental sciences and IUEA’s soon to be an operational department of agriculture”.
The satellite will be of great help to the nation’s agricultural sector. The satellite will help in forecasting the weather pattern so that the nation’s farmers would work with the data from the satellite to decide the most economical farming cycle for each crop to help reduce the crop failure which occurs as a result of climate change.
It is also a move in the right direction as regards the plan by some select universities which includes the University of East Africa, Makerere University, Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Busitema University and Muni University and a host of other universities and the government to enable the universities to start teaching space science technology. Also, according to Dr James Kasigwa, the Director of Science, Technology, Innovation Regulation and Bio-safety, at the science, technology and innovations ministry, there’s a plan to address the possibility of opening up a national space centre for Uganda.
All Nations University in Ghana, The Federal University of Technology, Akure in Nigeria, the University of Nairobi in Kenya, Stellenbosch University in South Africa, the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in South Africa and French South African Institute of Technology in South Africa are some of the Universities in Africa that have been involved in the development of satellites that have been launched into space.