Zambia drew closer to launching its own satellite with the establishment of a committee of experts to spearhead the process.
The 20-man Technical Steering Committee on the National Space Science program is expected to develop a roadmap and implementation plan for the launch of a space satellite in the next two years.
Minister of Science and Technology Felix Mutati during the unveiling of the committee expressed confidence that the experts appointed to spearhead the development and coordinate activities for the development of space science will do a good job.
Stephen Simukanga, Director-General of the Higher Education Authority assured that the team was ready to start doing its work.
Last year, Mr. Mutati said it was imperative for the country to have its own satellite because the current situation where the country borrows space from other satellites was limiting access to data.
He said having a satellite will go a long way in having timely data to inform decision-making.
Mr. Mutati however, said this would be backed by the development of a science policy.
“I wish to report back to the nation on the progress made towards our target to launch a Zambian owned satellite in order to improve on data capture for the benefit of many sectors of the economy. We have inaugurated a 20 member technical steering committee who have been tasked to develop the national space science program,” Mr. Mutati said.
He said, “This team which is comprised of experts from various sectors of the economy is expected to develop a zero draft national space science policy, develop a framework for regional and international cooperating partners and develop a roadmap as well as implementation plan for the launch of the space satellite.”
He added, “I expect nothing but hard-work from the committee in order for us as a country to meet our targets, as this is a very important agenda by the government towards fostering science, technology and innovation development in the country. I wish to thank all the members for accepting our request for them to sit on this committee.”
Below is the full list of the technical steering committee that has been inaugurated for coordination of activities for the space science program under the National Remote Sensing Centre.
1. Dr Alvert N’gandu (Chairperson) – Expert Engineer
2. Mrs Jane Chinkusu (Member) – DST | Ministry of Technology and Science
3. Mr Succeed Mubanga (Member) – DPI | Ministry of Technology and Science
4. Prof Stephen Simukanga (Member) – Higher Education Authority
5. Mr Morton Mwanza (Member) – Ministry of Agriculture
6. Dr Charles Lubobya (Member) – University of Zambia
7. Representative (Member) – Ministry of Defense
8. Dr Henry Kambafwile (Member) – NISIR
9. Dr Dalitso Banda (Member) – University of Zambia
10. Mr Fred Joe Nambala (Member) – University of Zambia
11. Mr Prospery Simpempa (Member) – Copperbelt University
12. Engineer Jason Mwanza (Member) – ZAMTEL
13. Mr Dickson Chipaila (Member) – ZICTA
14. Engineer Chimfwembe Mutale (Member) – Engineering Institute of Zambia
15. Mr Gabriel Lesa (Member) – Civil Aviation Authority
16. Dr Christopher Lungu (Member) – National Remote Sensing Centre
17. Dr Chiluwata Lungu (Member) – Diaspora Expert
18. Dr Chigomedzyo Ngwira (Member) – Diaspora Expert
19. Dr Remmy Musumpuka (Member) – Diaspora Expert
20. Dr Patrick Sibanda (Member) – Mulungushi University