(Ecofin Agency) - Zimbabwe's Finance Minister, Mthuli Ncube (pictured), announced last week that the government is seeking to launch its first satellite. Resources have been set aside for the project, he said during the national budget hearing November 14.
Ncube says his country wants to engage more on research and development. “Research and development are critical for Zimbabwe’s socio-economic transformation and competitiveness, as the country strives to attain Vision 2030. Research and Development Programs will be supported by both Government and private sectors as the country seeks to innovate in developing new services or products, and also advance the value addition strategy.”
Another country that has the same ambition is Uganda. The latter is also working on the launch of a satellite into space. The project, set to be completed by 2022, is the result of a deal with Russia; a deal that was reached at the Russia-Africa Summit held in Sochi from 23 to 24 October 2019.
According to Elioda Tumwesigye, Uganda's Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation, the country's first priority is to build a skilled human resource. The government will invest 200 million Ugandan shillings ($54,411) for this purpose, and three engineers will be sent to Japan to acquire required expertise as part of a capacity-building program.
Zimbabwe and Uganda will use the space facilities mainly to improve agriculture, mining exploration, wildlife conservation, disease surveillance, infrastructure management, and mapping.