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Nig. aims to send its satellites into orbit

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By Mercy Kelani

These satellites will work towards promoting sustainable development.

Currently, Nigeria is aiming to send its own satellites into orbit, designed and created entirely by Nigerian researchers and technicians. At a workshop in Abuja focused on AI, Big Data Analytics, Automation, and Space Technology for Sustainable Development, Chief Uche Nnaji, the Minister of Innovation, Science, and Technology, announced Nigeria’s intention to deploy satellites created by Nigerian professionals. The event was a collaboration between the European Union and the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA).

The introduction of these satellites will work towards promoting sustainable development, with the added support of strategically located ground stations and data collection centres across the nation. The focus of Chief Nnaji’s message was on President Tinubu’s dedication to utilizing satellites to provide creative solutions from space to address the country’s problems. The Minister highlighted that these solutions would be used in multiple areas like Security, Pipeline surveillance, food Sustainability in Agriculture, and other industries to advance the country’s long-term growth.

Importance of incorporating AI, Robotics in advancing satellite technology.

More so, the Ministry’s focus on artificial intelligence was emphasized by Chief Nnaji, who also pledged support for NASRDA in their efforts to enhance satellite technology. Additionally, the recent appointment of Dr. Matthew Adepoju as Director General of NASRDA was acknowledged by the Minister at the event. Dr. Adepoju expressed gratitude to the Minister for his presence and conveyed confidence in NASRDA’s team of competent engineers and scientists who are prepared to develop, send into orbit, and manage the upcoming satellites.

Furthermore, Dr. Adepoju highlighted the Agency’s dedication to ensuring that space-based remedies continue to be provided for the country’s issues. He emphasized the importance of incorporating both Artificial Intelligence and Robotics in the advancement of satellite technology in the present era. Dr. Adepoju highlighted NASRDA’s leading role in artificial intelligence and robotics, expressing a strong desire to partner with stakeholders in order to decrease Poverty and greatly enhance agricultural output. He stressed the importance of satellite technology in advancing various crucial sectors, such as agriculture and security, despite common perceptions of it being exclusive and requiring significant capital investments.

Workshop to investigate how space tech, AI can revolutionize agric methods.

In addition to Dr. Iuri Aganetto, another speaker at the event was the Programme Officer from the European Union Delegation to Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). He emphasized that the workshop aims to investigate how space technology, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and big data analysis can revolutionize agricultural methods to improve Food Security in Nigeria. He stressed the importance of utilizing advanced technologies to tackle key issues in environmentally friendly farming and ecosystem preservation. At a joint presentation, Dr. Zoltan Szantoi of the European Space Agency and Dr. Idris Jega of NASRDA discussed a detailed seven-point concept note related to the workshop’s topic.

They emphasized the workshop’s main objective of enhancing NASRDA’s ability to utilize artificial intelligence for analyzing remote sensing data, particularly in the fields of advanced agriculture and environmental surveillance. Moreover, the goal of the workshop is to generate data that will assist in making well-informed decisions regarding agriculture and Environmental Stewardship. This data will be in line with the latest technological developments and will specifically address needs with exactness and reliability. Nigeria’s National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) is a government agency focused on space exploration and research.

Related Article: FG Urges for More Investment in Space Sector 

Operating under the Federal Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology, NASRDA is headquartered in Abuja’s Lugbe district and manages a ground receiving station along with multiple other locations. Over the years, NASRDA has engaged in collaborative projects related to space technology with countries like the United Kingdom, China, Ukraine, and Russia. Struggling to meet financial goals and with some outdated facilities, the agency still remains one of Africa’s most advanced when it comes to space exploration. With four satellites and ambitious plans, Nigeria’s space agency has received acclaim for its high-quality satellite images. Additionally, NASRDA hosts one of UN-SPIDER’s Regional Support Offices (RSO) in Africa.


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