The Republic of Kenya pursues cooperation with China on satellite technology

NAIROBI, Kenya—Officials in Kenya on Friday said in order to boost the east African nation’s satellite technology, the Republic of Kenya is seeking to cooperate with the Chinese space agency.

A space engineer at the Kenya Space Agency, Charles Maina Mwangi, told media groups in Nairobi that Kenya is seeking international partners who have vast expertise and knowledge in the scientific field.

“We are keen to partner with China which has a robust and vibrant space industry which has launched a number of satellite into space,” Mwangi said during the third annual Space Challenge Competition for Kenyan primary and high school students.

In 2018, Kenya launched a nanosatellite developed by local scientists into space from the international space station which orbits around the earth.

Sources say Kenya is already cooperating with Italy in space science and since then the country’s appetite for advances in space science has increased.

The Kenya Space Agency is still at the infancy stages and is yet to develop all frameworks and hence the need to collaborate with international partners, Mwangi said.

“The idea is to engage and get better equipment that can provide solutions to the country’s pressing social economic problems,” he added.

According to the Kenya Space Agency, the immediate use of satellite technology is required for precision agriculture, forecasting of disasters as well as environmental conservation.

“The information obtained from satellites will enable the country to advance its development goals through outer space exploration,” Mwangi added.

He said Kenya will generate revenues from commercial space missions through putting satellites into space.

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Jacob Ujamaa Nyerere

Jacob Ujamaa Nyerere is a public affairs researcher and senior investigative correspondent.
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