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Satellite Initiative For East Africa Agreed By Heads of State

Rwandan President Paul Kagame speaking at the EAC Summit on 26 June 2018. Photograph courtesy of KT Press.

An agreement has been reached for the launch of a common satellite that will serve the East African region and enhance coverage. The decision was made during the 14th Summit of the Heads of State of the Northern Corridor.

It is envisaged that a common satellite would provide the East African countries with ready access to a range of telecommunications services such as voice, data, video and Internet, promoting socio-economic development across the region. This follows the signing of an agreement between the East Africa Communications Organisation (EACO) and the International Telecommunication Satellite Organisation (ITSO) in 2012 that promised to re-invigorate the use of satellite technology across East Africa. This agreement also promised a focus on the development of human capacity building in the region.

The Summit had been resumed after two years and President Paul Kagame of Rwanda highlighted that it was important that the summit was resumed in order to deliver the promises that had been made to their citizens to improve infrastructure and coverage. The Summit, in Nairobi, was also attended by Uganda’s President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta.

“I thank President Uhuru Kenyatta for hosting and re-convening us after a two-year break to continue with the momentum we had started for our region, coming together and working on joint projects for the benefit of our countries and people,” President Kagame said. “There is always going to be a lot of work to do but this moment provides an opportunity to re-examine what has been done and what we still need to do.”

The setting for the next Summit will be Rwanda.

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