A cabinet meeting in Rwanda held on 18 May 2020 approved the draft law for establishing the Rwanda Space Agency (RSA). The meeting, held via video conferencing and chaired by President Paul Kagame, highlighted the importance for Rwanda to advance its earth observation capabilities and technologies.
Paula Ingabire, Rwanda's Minister of ICT and Innovation, said that the space agency is expected to start operating from July 2020. Ingabire further added that the cabinet's decision to approve the draft law for the establishment of the RSA was informed by the East African country's past investment towards using space technologies.
The space agency is expected to support the forecasting and planning in agriculture, environmental monitoring, disaster preparedness, as well as urban planning through the utilization of satellite data and earth observation imagery.
During February 2019 Rwanda signalled its space technologies intentions by launching the country's first satellite, named Icyerekezo. This was as the result of the partnership between Rwanda's government and the Japanese Aerospace and Exploration Agency (JAXA). The low altitude satellite is expected to bring Internet access to students at Nkombo Island, in Lake Kivu.
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