The Uganda cabinet sitting on 22 March 2021 approved the proposal to build a satellite station in Uganda with the main objective of developing Uganda’s space capabilities in a well-coordinated and harmonized manner.
The following benefits and outcomes have been identified:
- Increased evidence-based technology information for planning and decision making
- Improved space science and technology infrastructure to support research for industrial development for the country
- Improved defence and security through improved capabilities for cross border movement monitoring and surveillance for the country
- 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 development for new technologies in the country.
- Improved national earth observation and remote sensing centres for the country
- Improved application of space science and technology to the social, economic, political and environmental needs of the country while ensuring that Uganda also becomes a significant user and player of the outer space
- Increased Human Resource capacity to facilitate the development of space technology in the country.
In 2019, the Ugandan Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation announced the country had set aside a budget for capacity development in the area of satellite development, which will see the nation launch its first satellite by 2022. In 2020, the International University of East Africa (IUEA) also submitted an application to the Uganda Communication Commission (UCC) to be able to build and launch an education satellite named Satellite One (IUEA UGA. SAT 1).
Other East African countries that have launched satellite into space are Ethiopia, Kenya and Rwanda.
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I find this particularly exciting for my country as this is one of the most important frontiers that any country needs to invest in.
Being a sort of outlier enthusiast of space technology (I have unique futuristic abstractions of space tech) I believe this move by Uganda to publicly declare intentions to get a satellite into space will be great for my hobbyist career moving forward.
Maybe it will become my real career sooner than later, well, that is to be seen.