Italian president visits Malindi space center

President of Italy Sergio Mattarella on arrival at Malindi International Airport before he toured the San Marco Luigi Broglio Space Center which is run by the Italian government in collaboration with Kenya. [Nehemiah Okwembah, Standard].

Italian President Sergio Mattarella has today visited Malindi Space Center in Kilifi County.

Mattarella said the San Marco Luigi Broglio Space Center in Ngomeni is a manifestation of the good diplomatic ties between Kenya and Italy.

He said Kenya must be commended for the gesture to host the space station saying that the two countries will continue to collaborate in many areas of development.

"This center 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 center was created following Kenya's independence and this is a sign of maturity on your side," he said.

The president said Italian Space Agency will continue to capacity build the Kenyan counterpart, offer infrastructure support and share space derived data on day time digits that will go a long way in contributing to social economic development as well as strengthening bilateral relations and the bonds that exist between the two countries.

His sentiments were echoed by Governor Gideon Mung'aro who said the Italian government should ensure that the residents of the county fully enjoy the benefits of the center.

Mung'aro said it was unfortunate however that since the establishment of the center in 19867, the Italian government had made several promises that remain unfulfilled to date.

"As a government and an institution, we should do more especially for the people of this region. This station has been here for long but very little has been done to the benefit of the local community," he said.

According to the County chief, the center is an important bond between Kenya and Italy thus there should be collaboration in ensuring that the two countries benefit equally.

Defence CS Aden Duale said the center holds a special place in diplomatic and strategic relations and a strong bond that ties the two countries together.

"We appreciate the establishment of the international center 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.