The promise was made by José Carvalho da Rocha, the Minister of Telecommunications and Information Technology, in an interview with Jornal de Angola.
The Angosat-2 satellite is currently being built in France and should be in orbit by 2021. José Carvalho da Rocha, Angola's Minister of Telecommunications and Information Technology, said in an interview with Jornal de Angola that the country will have other satellites working in several areas of knowledge. As for the whereabouts of the Angosat-1 satellite, the minister said it is still in orbit, but without transmitting any signal. Carvalho da Rocha explained that given the country's communication needs, Russia has provided a mini satellite. The minister also discussed the privatization of Angola Telecom, which he says will take place this year, although he did not mention any dates or future shareholders.
The building of the Angosat-2 satellite began in April last year. How much has been done so far?
Angosat-2 started being built on April 24, 2018, and we have 36 months to complete it. In this kind of work, things are not entirely linear, because it's a very complex process. We are building a new satellite, piece by piece, as established in the contract. We have been communicating with Airbus, which is the builder, and with Rosoboronexport, which is the company we have signed the contract with. So far, things are going as planned.
Are there any Angolan technicians following the process closely?
Yes, we have several technicians there. We wouldn't be able to enter a project like this without training experts in the area. Right now, the process is being monitored step by step by 60 Angolan technicians, including graduates and experts with Master's and PhD degrees, in various permanent teams.
No! The satellite as such is being built in France by Airbus. Once the construction stage is over, it will be taken to Russia, or rather Kazakhstan, to be launched into orbit. Because of that, the contract establishes periods in which we must be in France to check whether the different stages are being executed. We do this every month, and our teams assess the evolution of the construction project. The government provides a sum to cover all these training costs and the monthly trip of Angolan technicians to France. It should be noted that 17 of the 60 technicians accompanying the construction process in France are already living there, receiving specialized training in the space area, and that two technicians are taking a master's degree at the Airbus universities in Toulouse (France). We will now start negotiations so that we can send six more students next year.
The Angosat-1 construction process was also permanently monitored...
Yes, it was.
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