The Cabinet Secretary (CS) for Defence Ambassador Dr. Monica Juma today graced the last day of the Kenya Space Agency (KSA) stakeholders’ workshop at the Serena Hotel in Nairobi that brought together various stakeholders in the space sector.
In her remarks during the high-level forum under the theme ‘The space sector we want: a conversation’, the CS said the historic event shall provide a clear roadmap on what needs to be done by stakeholders to rip maximum benefits.
She noted that despite the country having started space related activities several years ago, Kenya is yet to enjoy maximum benefits from this venture but exuded confidence in the forum which she said shall provide guidelines on the way forward.
The CS said the existence of a bilateral agreement between the government of Kenya and that of Italy signed on September 2016 and ratified on October 2020 shall revive the space sector, a key driver in economic growth.“The imperative for this workshop cannot be emphasized enough. Today we know that space is the next sphere for national security as well as development. Data and innovations derived from space science can offer solutions to the numerous social, economic, technological and environmental challenges,” she said.
She added, ” I congratulate KSA for conceiving this session where top space scientists in our country can help chart the way forward for the space sector in Kenya. It’s my hope that your deliberations shall offer a pathway for deliberate actions that will reinvigorate the Kenya space sector making it a key driver in Kenya’s economic growth.”
The KSA Chair of the Board of Directors Major General (Rtd) James Aruasa said the state corporation is mandated to promote, coordinate and regulate all space activities in the country adding that the workshop has been fruitful as the technical team established the challenges facing the sector and the required remedies.“Our mandate formed the basis to have this workshop to better understand the needs and aspirations as the key stakeholders in this sector and how KSA can enable realization of these dreams and aspirations,” said Major General (Rtd) James Aruasa.
He added that KSA has a strategic plan launched last year and the two-day forum has given the agency the way forward to further enrich the strategy plans.
Acting Director General Major General (Rtd) Thomas Chepkuto thanked the participants saying the event was an eye opener and shall guide the next conversation in matters space.
KSA, which replaced the Kenya National Space Secretariat, was established by President Uhuru Kenya through an Executive Order on March 7, 2017 and appointment of the Board of Directors effected afterwards to make it fully constituted and functional.