15 May 2018

Kenya: Satellite Launch Misplaced Priority, Wasteful Venture

opinion

The successful launch on Friday of the First Kenya University Nano Satellite -- Precursor Flight (1KUNS-PF) -- with the potential of conducting commercial Space missions that previously required large satellites is a technological milestone worth noting.

Sure, our third world peers might consider regarding us with some more respect. Moreover, as noted by the University of Nairobi vice-chancellor prior to the launch, the satellite will help the country to effectively collect data on climate change, wildlife mapping, earth mapping, weather forecast, coastline monitoring, transport and logistics.

IMPORT EGGS

Nevertheless, in a country, that imports eggs from South Africa, millions of toothpicks from China and over 500,000 tonnes of vegetable oils, according to Kenya Bureau of Statistics, methinks such a grand gesture by the UoN in partnership with the duo of Japanese and Italian tech firms is an unnecessary sideshow and an insult to the millions of jobless and poverty-stricken Kenyans.

Our towns and cities can hardly manage their waste, millions can't afford food and the government is importing Cuban doctors to salvage the health sector.

Our leaders should instead be reviving tech-hub projects such as Konza Technocity.

The clock is fast ticking and, as former US President Barack Obama said, "We need not wait for some other time, or someone else. We are the change we seek."

Levi Cheruo Cheptora, Nairobi.

Kenya

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