Kilifi Governor Gideon Mung’aro has appealed to the Italian Government to use the San Marco Luigi Broglio Space Center in Ngomeni to help area residents.
The Governor said this when he accompanied the President of Italy Sergio Mattarella at the space station where he claimed that Italy has been making promises ever since the centre was built off Ungwana Bay in Ngomeni, Kilifi County in 1967.
They were also accompanied by the Cabinet Secretary for Defense Adan Duale, the Chairman of the Kenya Space Agency (KSA) Rt. Major General James Aruasa, the Kilifi County Assembly Speaker Teddy Mwambire and other leaders.
“As a government and an institution, we should do more especially for the people of this region. This station has been here for a long but very little has been done to the benefit of the local community,” he said.
He added that the centre was an important bond between Kenya and Italy and hence there should be collaboration in ensuring that the two countries benefited equally.
“From 1972 when the station started, there have been very many promises. We need to have better facilities in this county for both Kenyans and visitors and we need to engage the government very seriously on the matter so that we can know where the management of the centre can help develop,” he added.
“There are many things that I know about this space station which I don’t want to say today. I appeal to all our government that this space station must benefit all, the county government, the Kenyan government and the Italian government,” he said.
Duale on his part said that the space centre in Ngomeni was a show of the strong bond Kenya enjoys with Italy.
“The Malindi Space Center holds a special place in our diplomatic and strategic relations and a strong bond that ties us together.
We appreciate the establishment of the international centre for space education as an important facility in training our engineers and others from the region in ground station and space operations and we hope the training will extend to other fields,” he said.
Rt. Major General Arusa said that the space centre had started benefiting the Kenyan people through training in space technology.
“The support of the Italian Space Agency to the Kenya Space Agency for human capacity building, infrastructure support, and sharing of space derived data on daytime digits will go a long way in contributing to our social economic development as well as strengthening bilateral relations and the bonds that exist between us as friendly countries,” he said.
The Italian President on his part commended Kenya for the nice gesture of hosting the space station saying that the two countries will continue to collaborate in many areas of development.
“This centre is so important first of all because it intensifies the friendship between Kenya and Italy and it testifies the strong collaboration between our countries. This centre was created following Kenya’s independence and this is a sign of maturity on your side,” he said.