Broadcasting Satellite

Rwanda Seeks To Capitalise On Data From Satellite Investment

Patrick Nyirishema, the Director-General of the Rwanda Utility and Regulatory Authority (RURA), has accredited the increasing number of African nations taking on satellite projects to the low-cost of space technology.

Speaking at the official reveal of the arrival of Rwanda’s very first satellite, RWASAT-1, at the International Space Station, Nyirishema declared that Rwanda is on a path of lean space technology and had chosen to build capacity on this path.

He added that in the past, satellite technology was incredibly expensive, but in recent times it had become possible to build low-cost satellites that perform many applications.

According to Erik Kulu’s Nanosats Database, as of 30 October 2019, 1150 low-cost satellites had been launched by 65 countries, with ten rolled out in Africa.

RWASAT-1 is Rwanda’s first satellite and was built by Rwandan engineers with supervision from the University of Tokyo. It was designed to facilitate space research and to help the Rwandan government monitor natural disasters, water resources and meteorology.

The satellite has advanced cameras to collect data which will be transmitted to ground control centres in Kigali.

Rwanda’s Minister for ICT and Innovation, Paula Ingabire, said that the Ministry of Agriculture would use data from RWASAT-1 for natural resources exploration and urban planning.

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