“We are vigorously working and have advanced about our second satellite, we have sent developers to Egypt, and Japan, to pick specialized knowledge, and we also her partnerships with South Africa, still in line with advancing our ambitions over the same,” she said.
Minister Musenero in white dress after launching the Science week 2023
Uganda is in the advanced stages of developing another
satellite, Dr. Monica Musenero, the Minister of Science, Technology, and
Innovation has revealed. This follows last year’s historic launch of Uganda's
first-ever satellite, PearlAfricaSat-1.
The project was spearheaded by three young Ugandan engineers:
Edgar Mujuni, Bonny Omara, and Derrick Tebusweke in line with the nation's
dreams and aspirations. Regarding the satellite currently under development,
Musenero mentioned that, in addition to the trio, the government has sponsored
other young Ugandans to acquire specialized knowledge and expertise from
countries like Egypt and Japan.
“We are vigorously working and have advanced
about our second satellite, we have sent developers to Egypt, and Japan, to
pick specialized knowledge, and we also her partnerships with South Africa,
still in line with advancing our ambitions over the same,” she said. According to Musenero,
the new satellite will significantly enhance the country's communication
capabilities, benefiting aspects such as telephony and television. “We are
steadily building the expertise needed to achieve this goal, and it is expected
to have a longer lifespan compared to the first satellite,” she said.
Uganda's journey to space began with a partnership between
Uganda and Japan's Kyushu Institute of Technology (Kyutech), where the three
graduate engineers were trained to design, build, test, and launch the first
satellite. The successful launch of PearlAfricaSat-1 was part of the BIRDS
program and marked a significant milestone for the nation. Cosmas Mwikirize, the Superintendent of Industrial Value Chains
Development at the Science, Technology, and Innovation Department, acknowledges
the limitations of the first satellite but emphasizes its importance. "The
first satellite we launched had limited capacity because it was our first shot
into space, but it helped us showcase that we can do it," he said.
According to Mwikiruze, the most crucial aspect of these
programs is nurturing local expertise. "The space program is far bigger than
assets like satellites. We have grown human capital, sent engineers abroad for
training, and now, the second satellite is being developed in Uganda in
collaboration with our partners,” he stated. Meanwhile, the science and technology sector is gearing up for
its most significant event, the National Science Week, scheduled for November 6
to 11, 2023. This year's event will provide a platform for Uganda to showcase
its remarkable journey in science and innovation.
Dr. Musenero remarked,
"As of July 2023, Uganda's average age was 16.3 years, indicative of a
generation raised in an era of technological diversity and progress. We are
championing innovations tailored to their requirements, from space exploration
to vaccine development."
This year's theme, "Uganda Tusimbudde: Our science-led journey towards socio-economic transformation" pays tribute to the spirit of innovation propelling Uganda forward. The event will be inaugurated by
President Museveni, celebrating not just the progress in science and technology but also the dreams of a nation determined to break through limitations." This year's event is noteworthy for introducing a children's slot on the sixth day, exclusively designed to help children engage with technology.