Uganda Set to Build a Satellite Ground Station Facility

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni attends his swearing-in ceremony at the Independance grounds in Uganda's capital Kampala, May 12, 2016. REUTERS/Edward Echwalu - RTX2E18C

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:

  1. Increased evidence-based technology information for planning and decision making
  2. Improved space science and technology infrastructure to support research for industrial development for the country
  3. Improved defence and security through improved capabilities for cross border movement monitoring and surveillance for the country
  4. 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.
  5. Improved national earth observation and remote sensing centres for the country
  6. 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
  7. 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.