Ghana's "Ghanasat-1" satellite was launched July 7 by a group of students of the All Nations University with the help of the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (Courtesy of

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Ghana became the first sub-Saharan African country to launch a satellite into orbit around the earth.

Built by students from the All Nations University in Koforidua, the “Ghanasat-1” satellite is equipped with cameras and a device that will emanate the country’s national anthem and other independence songs from space.

“The successful launch of the satellite into orbit has put Ghana on the International Map as the first country in Sub-Saharan African to launch an academic satellite into space paving way for the country to explore the full benefit of satellite technology,” said Ernest Teye Matey, a member of the team of engineers that built the satellite.

Released July 7 with over 400 spectators, the satellite will be used to monitor the country’s coastline, assist with educational missions and serve as a symbol to increase Ghana’s satellite technology, which Ghanian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said inspires “dedication, enthusiasm and insight.”

Somalis Wary of Vaccines Amid Measles Outbreak

As an ongoing measles outbreak in Minnesota affects Somali communities, the Voice of America News Network held a large town hall meeting to discuss concerns that childhood vaccinations are the root cause for many autism cases.

The July 8 forum, titled “Vaccine & Autism: Myths and Facts,” was held at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs. It gave parents the opportunity to dispute medical experts’ arguments that vaccines are not responsible for the defects within the Somali community.

“I have a child who was normal when I took him to the doctor,” said Sofia Osman, a Minnesota parent with an autistic child. “We have videos. … You don’t need research. Ask us!”

The forum was broadcast live on radio and TV.

Lesotho Launches ‘E-Visa’ Program

The government of Lesotho recently launched a new electronic visa program, joining 13 other African countries with such programs.

The technology, which was on display during the recent U.S.-Africa Business Summit in D.C., now allows for the issuing of visas in as little as 72 hours, part of the government’s push to attract tourists and businesses to the country.

The “E-visa” was developed by the Lesotho government in partnership with Computer Frontiers, a U.S.-based, privately owned IT company, with the hopes of eliminating challenges regarding visas. With this new program, visas can now be printed on a piece of paper with needed information and photos attached for standard costs.

The new program aims to make it easier for persons to travel to and from the country while increasing tourism and revenue.

Lauren Poteat is a versatile writer with a strong background in communications and media experience with an additional background in education and development.

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