Defence CAS opens a three-day space expo and conference in Nairobi

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The Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) in the Ministry of Defence, Hon. Peter Odoyo has officially opened a three-day Space Expo and Conference at the Sarit Expo Centre in Nairobi.

CAS Odoyo presided over the event on behalf of the Cabinet Secretary, Hon. Eugene Wamalwa.

The expo hosted by the Kenya Space Agency is themed 'Leveraging Space Capabilities for National Development.' The event brings together both local and international players in space science and technology, comprising government, policymakers, experts, academia, researchers, and start-ups, among other key players.

In his remarks read by the CAS, the CS noted that the space sector has become a new domain for competition among world powers and a new frontier of investment with many nations out to seek a piece of the lucrative pie.

He reminded the participants of Kenya's journey in space exploration dating back to 1964, when Kenya established the San Marco Project in Malindi in collaboration with the Italian government. The cooperation led to the launching of the first satellite, 'Uhuru', in 1970 from the facility to study celestial bodies using X-ray astronomy.

"Our nation did not take full advantage of the opportunities that existed then. However, I am happy to note that, with the establishment of the KSA, there's a reawakening of the nation to take its rightful position among the space-faring nations, not for exploration.

Still, to seek solutions to the challenges we contend with and to improve the lives of our people towards achieving the Kenya Vision 2030 and the Big Four Agenda," the CS said in the speech.

He affirmed that space technologies and applications were critical in weather monitoring, prediction, and environment monitoring, thus enhancing agriculture and food security.

"The list of impactful space applications is endless, with more applications being developed by the day, which offers enormous opportunities for our innovative, highly skilled, and talented young minds in the country.

I'm happy that some of these young people are already seizing the opportunities and are showcasing some of their innovations at the exhibition." the CS added.

Hon. Wamalwa lauded the partnership between KSA, SayariLabs and Endurosat from Bulgaria through which a small Earth observation satellite is being developed for climate change monitoring where the satellite, TAIFA-1, is expected to go into orbit early next year.

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