Tag Archives: wire james

Launch of Uganda’s first Satellite, PearlAfricaSat-1

On the 7th of November 2022 , Uganda made history by claiming its first piece of real estate in space by launching the PPearlAfricaSat-1. This move while being very remarkable for our nation has been greeted with alot of cynicism by a number of e-literates who I choose to respectfully refer to as ignorant in space and technology matters.

In a two part article, I am going to share with you more about this satellite and why we need to have it. Let us start with the basics of Satellite Technology.

What is a Satellite?
A satellite is a moon, planet or machine that orbits a planet or star. For example, Earth is a satellite because it orbits the sun. Likewise, the moon is a satellite because it orbits Earth.
Usually, the word “satellite” refers to a machine that is launched into space and moves around Earth or another body in space.

Importance of Satellites
They play a key role in our day to day lives and there is so much we lately take for granted that is attributed to their presence. They are very useful when it comes to earth observation, communication, navigation and science.
Through the data they collect, satellites support;

  • National Economies
  • Manage emergency situations
  • Monitor the Environment
  • Protect public health
  • Ensure public safety and national defence

How do they help us in our day to day lives?

Satellite data for farming can help farmers overcome challenges that impact upon their yields. Land yields in Uganda are some of the lowest around the world despite our very well endowed soils. Why is this the case? Should we only attribute it to poor/unpredictable rains? Isn’t there a way we can utilise satellite data to have a micro understanding of our farmlands?

We could use the satellite for getting a unique perspective of our famlands through moisture detection, insect infestations, plant health, drainage network, flooding and droughts.

As a nation we lack basic and accurate crop inventory information like acreage of various crops nationwide, the condition of the crops as well as anticipated production outcomes.

All this information and much more can be availed to the various stakeholders hence helping them make better decisions regarding their agribusiness initiatives. It helps a farmer in production and a value addition processor in sourcing of raw material.

Satellites can help improve on the already struggling health situation in Uganda.

They can monitor the environment and support the development of information on risk factors associated with environmentally linked infectious diseases, water contamination as well as chronic conditions.
They can identify and monitor risk locations for mosquito and tick-borne diseases.
We currently have an Ebola breakout in the country and satellite data can help guide ground interventions. Field epidemiologists and medical staff can use this data to locate infrastructure to support the deployment of services such as temporary hospitals, or mobile laboratories to support the investigation and diagnosis of diseases as well as database development. They also help us react and timely respond to pandemics.

E-Health, Telehealth and Telemedicine applications are all beneficiaries of satellite technology.

Today alone, this is how a satellite is helping you without your knowledge;

  • Using that Safe Boda App: If you hail a boda boda (bike) service that uses an app, your position is traced through the Global Position System that is heavily reliant on satellites for accuracy.
  • Eating that Weetabix cereal in the morning is a result of a farmer who used satellite technology to determine the best time to irrigate the gardens as well as harvest time.
  • The internet service you use as one of its infrastructure relies on satellites.
  • The weather update you got on your phone in the morning prior to leaving home relies on satellite activity.
  • The Google Pin that you got showing the venue of the meeting you have is a result of satellite activity.
    Safety. You may be moving around carelessly taking so much for granted but through satellite activity, alot is done to monitor various national security installations and public resources.

Now that we are in the know of how Satellites are of importance, in the next article, I shall dwell on the Ugandan Satellite that was launched barely a week ago and is ready for action.

  • Is it our Government behind it?
  • Did Ugandans design it?
  • Will it be worth the money spent?
    and more, based on your feedback to this article.

Do you now realise why having a satellite is likely to help Uganda as a nation ?
Do you believe that Uganda is ready to participate in the space age?

See you in Part 2.

James Wire
Agribusiness & Technology Consultant
Twitter – @wirejames

Only the Senseless can abuse Kabushenga

Any one that has left the comfort of their urban dwellings and gone to their rural settings to effect any form of society betterment has always faced suspicion largely emanating from the established thinkers in the villages. They start off with rumor mills about how you want to stand for a Parliamentary position. Everywhere you pass, they make statements like; How can he come to spend money and time here without expecting anything from us? Before you know it, the established politicians start fighting imaginary wars with you and on and on.

Lately, Mr. Robert Kabushenga’s outbursts over the economic situation are being perceived with negativity by the very people who should be buoying him forward. You will forgive me but I might use some fairly strong language just to fully express my disgust.

The man came out to fight the planned Coffee Monopoly, he has been prominently sharing his challenges as he ventures into the business world, he is now also eloquently dissecting the awful economic situation we are in and all I read on Social Media are the usual I Know it All dimwits criticising him.

Despite claiming to be elite, how different are they from the rural folk I talked about at the start? A section of people seem to think they are the custodians of poverty, brokeness and the like and expect no one else to associate with it.

Some of the sentiments I have come across:

– How does he earn 37 Million per month for 14 years and he claims to be broke?
– Kabushenga wants to come out so Museveni can give him a job
– He used to be a very proud man while at the New Vision
– Is he really broke or he is just trying to talk for the poor?

At this juncture, I urge you to listen to the song BanaKampala Nga Boogera by Alex Mukulu. It is on Youtube just in case you don’t have it.

The fact that many are reacting to his outbursts clearly shows that the message he is putting across is sinking in effectively.

For long, many have talked about the downturn in the economic activity and as usual they were relegated to having interests in the country’s leadership. Now here comes someone whose experience in communication is worthy of global appeal, instead of latching onto him and using him as the voice for the voiceless, we want to use his background of privilege to gloss over his efforts. I would love to know the witchdoctor’s portion they drank.

I am very certain most of those trashing his effort have never even successfully run a roadside vegetable stall but they speak like they know it all.

Kabushenga earned good money. True!!! Did he waste it? As far as I know, NO!!!! He is not a fool, his upbringing was good enough to prepare him for the lean times. Many only got to know him when he reached the helm of The New Vision. I clearly recall him driving a Corsa at the time he was heading the media house and only much later, did I see him in a Prado. So, do not think he wasted money like the way some of you are doing thinking you will be employed forever. His coffee investment is testimony enough.

Being broke is relative but it still remains brokeness just like being rich is relative too. A person with 50 million Shillings will perceive himself as rich so is another of 5 Billion Shillings. The same applies to being broke. To one, being broke is failure to get food to eat, another, failure to pay rent or school fees, another, failure to travel by air to Nairobi, or even buy a bottle of Chivas Regal XV (don’t ask me how I know this one).

Then there are the claims of him wanting to appeal to the eye of the President. This too is nonsense. Does it waterdown his arguments about our plight? If he ends up being called closer to Entebbe so be it. He will have done his part already as far as highlighting what is making lives miserable at the bottom of the pyramid.

On Twitter, I came across a veiled message that even a 10 year old can tell who it was in reference to. This eminent Professor is someone I got to know and interact with since around 2005. I feel letdown by the way his reasoning seems to be degenerating progressively. To quote:
What goes around comes around. A CEO lived large & during COVID-19 cut salaries of other staff & was axed. Now is into growing tomatoes. She is now a champion of we are broke, we can’t afford life. Really? I have watched her on TV & read her posts on twitter. Come [calm] down, it will be well

Without doubt, this eminent professor was referring to Kabushenga. Why choose to dwell on someone’s job as opposed to the issue at hand?

People are broke. Does he want to only see people in tattered clothes complaining about the hard times? By the way, serious brains can sense trouble from far off. People like Kabushenga are not going to wait for the inevitable to happen before they make an effort to take corrective action.

There was a time when a rich person was called Khashoggi and it was from the fact that the richest man at that time of the 70s was Adnan Khashoggi (Sorry for those of you who were sperms at that time, modern day lifestyles have made you very ignorant of many things). When he divorced his wife Soraya Khashoggi, she walked away with loads of cash and I mean mind boggling sums. Today, a woman that had access to 17 mansions she called home, lives in a 400 pound dingy residence somewhere in London.

I now ask, do you want Kabushenga to get to that point before he can be deemed fit to fight for the cause of impoverishment?

For you that is pointing that finger at Kabushenga, remember the three fingers pointing back at you are reminding you that you are destined where he is.

The crux of the matter is that the Government needs to do something to address the economic hardships that have come up. The rate of return on investment is very low for those into legit business and I mean, paying all relevant taxes, meeting salary expectations of workers among other things. Operating on a bank loan is currently suicidal and without access to such capital, company growth slows down naturally.

This brother of ours in case you did not know used most of his 37 Million Shs monthly income to set up a now Multi Billion coffee farm that still needs more to get where he wants it to be. A slow economy is only going to kill his plans.

Once I was with a colleague that runs a Recruitment firm. A call came through and the person on the other end was someone who had lost their job in a well publicised corporate battle. The boss took the day. However, this person was sounding so desperate yet the salary bracket they enjoyed was phenomenal. This individual went ahead to mention three other colleagues (all high profile) that were in the same boat.

What does this mean, Kabushenga is not in a unique spot. What he is going through or has gone through is a baptism of fire that many forced to leave the corporate world go through.

You too, it’s a matter of time before you get to know the cost of newspapers, airtime, data, fuel or medical treatment. You’re being pampered like a teletubby perhaps but as sure as night follows day, you will cross to the other side of the river and start singing a new song.

Allow the learned man, Counsel Robert Kabushenga to be.

James Wire
Twitter @wirejames