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Zim satellite launch, an exploration learning curve

Zim satellite launch, an exploration learning curve

Zimbabwe satelite orbit

Zimbabwe is set to launch its first satellite into orbit next month in a major milestone expected to enhance mineral exploration as the nation hopes that the mining industry has a major responsibility in economic revival.

Rudairo Mapuranga

Through the National Development Strategy_1 (NDS-1) the mining sector is expected to become a US$12 billion annual earner by 2023 from annual revenue of less than US$3 billion in 2017. This, therefore, makes mineral exploration of greater importance in the establishment of world-class mines.

According to the chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Mining Development Hon Edmond Mkaratigwa, the launching of Zimbabwe’s first satellite will come as a learning curve for the government to invest in modern exploration technologies.

“I am aware that the satellite launch is due as part of the government’s development strategy. I am further aware of its capabilities, which is part of the reasons for the decision to have it launched and incorporated into the national development strategy. That is part of the key government deliverables and enablers and we anticipate that we will make maximum use of the technologies. Exploration requires the right technologies and as we are just launching our first, it’s also a learning curve and we should remain realistic so as to continue improving ourselves and our growth,” Mkaratigwa said.

The launching of the country’s first satellite into orbit is also expected to enhance monitoring of environmental hazards and droughts, mapping human settlements and disease outbreaks, among many other capabilities.

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Additionally, these developments are part of the country’s plan to catch up with other nations and become an upper-middle-class economy by 2030. Moreso, President Mnangagwa pledged more support to the newly commissioned agency to see the growth of a technology innovation environment that supports the development and use of new technologies.

“Congratulations and well done for this first national space project which lays the foundation for space and scientific programmes. This is indeed a major step in enhancing the deployment of earth observation technologies in supporting the National Development Strategy,” Mnangagwa, said at the launch of the Zimbabwe Science Park and commissioning of the Zimbabwe National Geospatial and Space Agency (ZNGSA) on 13th September in 2021.

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