SpaceX, a spacecraft manufacturer and satellite communications corporation led by the world’s richest man Elon Musk, is presently in talks with Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema to launch its Starlink Internet services in the country.
The move, confirmed by Jito Kayumba, an investment professional and special assistant to Hichilema, is a strategic one that will expand SpaceX’s reach on the continent while elevating Zambia’s position in the digital economy.
“Our President’s engagement with the @SpaceX team and their Starlink initiative will strengthen Zambia’s position in the digital economy and enable universal access to the Internet and other technologies.,” Kayumba wrote on Twitter. “We appreciate this initiative from a visionary entrepreneur.”
In turn, Musk stated that he is excited to provide Starlink services to the people of Zambia.
Starlink, Musk’s space exploration company’s satellite Internet service, provides high-speed, low-latency broadband Internet around the world. This is made possible by a constellation of highly advanced satellites orbiting the Earth in a low orbit.
Three days ago, Musk disclosed that Starlink satellite broadband service is now available across all seven continents following a test of its service in Antarctica, with the goal of providing better bandwidth and connectivity to scientists in the U.S. Antarctic Program.
Following SpaceX’s approval to operate in Nigeria and Mozambique in May, Musk announced the launch of the service in Africa, stating that Starlink will operate anywhere on Earth where it is legally permitted to do so.
Its arrival in Africa, particularly in Nigeria, has been planned since 2021, when SpaceX sent representatives to the country’s telecommunications regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), to discuss the possibility of obtaining a license to operate Starlink in Nigeria.