Zimbabwe and Namibia announce satcoms initiatives 

Zimbabwe and Namibia announce satcoms initiatives 

More space-related announcements have recently been made, this time by Zimbabwe and Namibia, underlining the continuing growth of satellite communications initiatives in sub-Saharan Africa.

Zimbabwe is set to launch its second satellite, ZimSat-2, in November after technical issues – the primary payload was not ready – delayed the original 26 May launch.

ZimSat-2 will feature advanced sensors and imaging devices, supporting applications such as mineral exploration, environmental hazard monitoring, and management of droughts and human settlements.

Pre-launch tests for the new satellite are reportedly complete, and the satellite is now awaiting the appropriate launch window in November.

Zimbabwe aims to introduce three additional earth observation satellites in the coming years, building on the capabilities of its first satellite, ZimSat-1, launched in November 2022.

According to the Bulawayo24 online news service, ZimSat-1 currently aids in monitoring drought conditions, mine mapping, and other data-driven activities from the Mazowe Ground Station. 

Also in Southern Africa, the ITWeb Africa news service reports that private equity fund manager Eos Capital, which manages the Namibia Infrastructure Development and Investment Fund (NIDIF), has been given permission to start the Namibia Space Port project.

Described by South Africa’s Engineering News as a satellite ground segment complex, the Namibia Space Port project is led by Q-KON Namibia, a Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN)-licensed satellite service provider, which is reportedly poised to become a major player in the rapidly expanding low earth orbit (LEO) business as the Namibia Space Port develops.

More specifics about how this project will benefit Namibia are not easy to find, but Engineering News says the new facility will focus mainly on ground gateway terminal hosting, Earth observation (EO) downlink services, and tracking, telemetry and control (TT&C). 

Dr Dawie de Wet, Group CEO of Q-KON, says: "We are honoured to lead this transformative initiative that will not only enhance Namibia's technological prowess but will also contribute to the growth of the LEO industry in Sub-Saharan Africa."

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