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Tanzania secures orbital slot for first satellite launch

This newly acquired orbital position at 16 degrees West provides Tanzania with a dedicated space within the expansive celestial realm.

The Minister of Information, Communication, and Information Technology of Tanzania, Nape Nnauye, announced at the 2023 World Radiocommunication Conference that Tanzania has achieved a major milestone by securing an orbital slot at 16 degrees West for the launch of its first satellite. This achievement signals a significant stride in the country’s pursuit of space exploration.

The announcement follows Nnauye’s earlier commitment in July, where he assured the public of the government’s dedication to launching Tanzania’s inaugural satellite within the year. Professor Sospeter Muhongo, Member of Parliament for Musoma Rural and a vocal advocate for space technologies in Tanzania, emphasised the importance of leveraging space technology for economic growth, citing the progress of neighbouring countries like Rwanda and Kenya.

The potential impact of a national satellite for Tanzania is vast, with sectors such as communication, agriculture, disaster management, and allied industries poised to benefit significantly from its capabilities.

With the secure designation of its orbit, Tanzania demonstrates noteworthy progress in its space ambitions, aligning with President Samia Suluhu’s declaration in May 2023 regarding the country’s venture into space technology. The expressed interest in launching the first satellite, dedicated to monitoring environmental developments, weather trends, surveillance, and promoting high-performance connectivity services, further underscores Tanzania’s commitment to technological advancement.

In a broader context on the African continent, Egypt leads with the launch of nine satellites, followed by South Africa with eight. Algeria, Nigeria, and Morocco trail closely with seven, six, and three satellites, respectively. Other countries on the list include Ghana, Ethiopia, Sudan, Kenya, Angola, Mauritius, and Rwanda.