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14 Jun 2022

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Rwanda boosts its digital economy by joining the Global Satellite Operators Association

In many African and Asian countries, satellite communication is often the only viable method of creating connectivity in rural and remote areas. Rwanda's Space Agency (RSA) and the Global Satellite Operators Association (GSOA) today signed an agreement to promote space-based services as an essential tool for expanding connectivity in Rwanda and the continent of Africa. The aim is to support the deployment of satellite communications services in Rwanda and preserve access to satellite spectrum.

Together, the two organizations will contribute to the deployment of satellite communications services in Rwanda, to preserve access to orbital slots reserved for developing countries, to work with African space agencies, to promote satellite communications services across Africa, and to preserve Rwanda's access to satellite spectrum.

Global Satellite Operators' Association (GSOA) represents 29 global and regional satellite operators. It is recognized as the representative body for satellite operators by international, regional, and national bodies including regulators, policymakers, and standards-setting organizations such as 3GPP, the International Telecommunication Union, and the World Economic Forum. GSOA works to develop a better understanding of how satellite communications relate to economies around the world and how favourable political, regulatory, and industrial frameworks can help policymakers leverage their strengths.

Rwandan Space Agency was established in August 2020 with the mission of developing space technologies for socioeconomic development in Rwanda. In Rwanda, the RSA is responsible for regulating space services, creating an enabling environment for the development of space technology, and promoting applications of space sciences and technology, such as satellite communications and Earth observation. Satellite services are needed to complement terrestrial services. The Rwandan Space Agency prioritizes the development of requisite skills in the space arena.

At a meeting of African space agencies on satellite communication for sustainable development in Africa, GSOA Secretary General Aarti Holla-Maini said, "We are pleased to deepen our cooperation with RSA on a range of critical topics. Connecting the unconnected will not be possible without satellite and African space agencies such as RSA can play a key role in emphasizing the importance of satellite communications at policy and regulatory levels".

Rwandan Space Agency CEO Francis Ngabo stated that RSA intends to create a vibrant space ecosystem where satellite communication will have a significant role. Together with GSOA, the Rwanda RSA believes it can accelerate the achievement of these objectives.

Photo credit: Ifeoluwa A.

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