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Govt fast tracks establishment of a space agency

04 November 2014, 09:29

Nairobi - The government said on Monday it's reviewing modalities of setting up a space agency to coordinate exploration of the cosmos.

Chief Scientist at the National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovations (NACOSTI), Margaret Maimba said the establishment of a space agency is in the works pending cabinet approval.

"We have presented a cabinet memo that details the procedures of setting up a space agency. Cabinet approval will pave way for the establishment of a space agency through Presidential order," Maimba revealed.

Also read: Nasa's space station Robonaut getting legs

She spoke to Xinhua during a meeting of African space scientists held in Nairobi to discuss the procedures of setting up the world's largest radio telescope. The radio telescope will be installed in Kenya and eight African countries.

Kenyan policymakers and scientists said the east African nation has prioritized investments in space technology to address economic and social challenges.

"By positioning itself as a regional hub for space science, Kenya will attract investments in diverse fields like engineering, biosciences and information technology," Maimba said.

She revealed that Kenya has partnered with Algeria and South Africa to harness space science to map natural resources.

Kenya has a large pool of trained manpower to assist in the establishment of a space agency. Maimba noted that universities have launched a standardized curriculum on space science.

"There is a renewed interest by students to specialize in space science. We require globally competitive technologists to assist in setting up a space agency," Maimba said.

The radio telescope project is a collaborative venture between African countries, European Union, China, Australia and Canada.

 - Xinhua

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