Rwanda has practically passed the space Rubicon, so to speak. All eyes had been directed towards Japan where its space agency was collaborating with the Rwandan government to launch a multi-purpose satellite into space sometime this year.
But unfolding under the radar, without all the expected fanfare, was a communication satellite dubbed “Icyerekezo” (vision) that was launched this week.
The name was coined by students on the remote island of Nkombo in Western Province who will be the first to benefit from the satellite which will provide broadband internet to remote schools.
As usual, actions speak louder than words. Rwanda has on many occasions said it would build a knowledge-based workforce and the first priority is bridging the digital divide, and it is doing so.
The recent opening of the country’s first coding academy, and the planned rollout of others in the remaining provinces is just a tip of the iceberg.
But all the centres of excellence cropping up should not be taken a trophies to be displayed, but should be used to encourage more students to join the scientific world.
As the just-launched satellite is aptly named, this country’s vision is firmly grounded on having a knowledge-based generation of tech-savvies by adopting the latest technologies. Icyerekezo has shown that in Rwanda, the sky is not the limit.