UP Law student becomes member of space advisory council

Posted on December 17, 2018

The University of Pretoria’s Ruvimbo Samanga, a final-year LLB student and BA Law cum laude graduate, recently became a member of the Women in Aerospace Africa Committee, and that of the Austria-based Space Generation Advisory Council. The advisory council is a global organisation that aims to bring the views of university students and young space professionals to the United Nations, space agencies, industry, and academia.

Samanga was at the African Leadership Congress in Space and Technology in Abuja, Nigeria, where she presented a paper titled “Lunar ethics and the implications of resource mining in outer space”. She was also named a recipient of the Mandela Rhodes Foundation Scholarship for Master's studies.

“Space law is innovative and engaging,” says Samanga, who was also a coach of the first South African team to win the international Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition earlier this year.

“It provides creative and viable solutions to socioeconomic problems on the continent. Satellite technology and resources from outer space are already changing the economical development of nations. Also, the Fourth Industrial Revolution will be driven by the digital and space age, and if Africa is to compete on an international platform, it will have to keep up with changing trends. It is my earnest hope to help drive Africa to that goal.”

Despite an already impressive track record in law, her road to legal studies was surprisingly convoluted. “I wanted a career that would help me make an impact in the world,” says Samanga. “I was originally accepted for International Relations at UP which, although globally oriented, didn’t offer me the large-scale policymaking and reform power I was looking for in a vocation.”

So she switched to BA General and studied Psychology for a year as she could not be transferred immediately to BA Law. “After a long road, I finally started my BA Law and LLB, which I’m on track to complete within four—rather than five years—in 2018.”

In 2019 Samanga plans to pursue a master’s in International Trade and Investment Law with UP’s Centre for Human Rights.

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