Plans are underway for Uganda to start venturing into space technology, this website has learnt. This decision was arrived to during a cabinet sitting on March 22 at State House.
In a statement issued by the ICT and National Guidance Minister, Hon. Judith Nabakooba, the first step will be building a satellite station in Uganda which was approved on Monday.
This station, according to cabinet will be tasked with developing the nations space capabilities in a well-coordinated and harmonised manner.
This decision comes three years after East African neighbours Kenya launched their first satellite into space. Should this materialise and Uganda starts launching satellites, it will be the twelfth African nation to do so since 1999.
Having a fully functional space station in the country will be of great importance to a nation that seeks to move into middle income status by 2040.
How does Uganda gain?
In country where technological developments and achievements do not get the applause they deserve, this development will surely play a vital role in showing the public, especially those in the corridors of power the importance of technology. This is because Space Science and Technology can be leveraged for sustainable in development in various ways.
Cabinet expects the station to boost research for Industrial Development through improved Space Science and Technology Infrastructure. They also manifest increased evidence-based technology which in-turn eases planning and decision making.
One sector that will benefit greatly from the proposed development is the defence and security department. With connectivity of all the country’s borders and routes, surveillance will be simplified as the security organs will easily keep track of movements in and out of the borders.
Not only do the powers that be want to bolster Uganda’s defence mechanisms but also increase Private Sector Investment in Space Science, Technology, Research and Innovation.
This (Increase in Private Sector Investment in Space Science, Technology, Research and Innovation) will in the end enhance Foreign Direct Investment and collaborations, which will in turn attract or spur our development of new Technologies in the country.Cabinet
Cabinet moves to make Uganda a significant user and player of the outer space with this latest development. The only African countries with space stations are Algeria, South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe Morocco and Ghana. Libya, Sudan, Tunisia, Gabon and neighbours Kenya complete this list.