Earlier this year, Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni pushed for space technology research with Russia after a meeting with delegates from the Russian-Uganda Intergovernmental Commission on Economic, Science and Technical Cooperation in June. Just last month, Museveni held another bilateral meeting with the Russian President, Vladimir Putin and different leaders of Russia and Africa exploring partnerships in areas of space science and technology during the 2019 Russia-Africa summit.
It is now evident that Uganda is making serious plans to launch a national space program with the launch of its first satellite in 2022. This was confirmed on Friday by Dr Elioda Tumwesigye, the Ugandan Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation at the 2019 World Science Day which held in Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda.
In achieving this, the government is investing 200 million Uganda Shillings (about USD 54,000) annually for capacity development in the next coming years, and will be sending three engineers to Japan to study space science as part of their capacity development programs with the aim of developing and launch the country’s first satellite into space by 2022.
Basil Ajir, the Director of Technopreneurship at the Ugandan Ministry of Science said issues around meteorology, defence, communications, and agriculture are being considered for the mission of the proposed satellite and the country is working with Egypt, Isreal, Japan, and Russia on this project.
Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia are the only East African countries that have launched a satellite into space, while Mauritius is currently working on its first satellite.