I know this might sound a bit farfetched but at the time, anything seemed possible.
Back in his heyday, dictator, strongman and all around asshole Idi Amin had some pretty high hopes for his country of Uganda. One of his goals (besides looting the country of everything he could get his hands on and killing anybody who disagreed with him) was to modernize the country and bring it to prominence and prosperity during the 20th century.
The year is 1971. Just two short years before, the world was stunned and watched in awe as Neil Armstrong fulfilled the promise of John F. Kennedy and became the first man to step foot on the moon. This did not sit well with Amin and he vowed that Uganda too would soon be sending rockets into space to explore the unknown.
Now, anybody familiar with Uganda at the time thought the idea was laughable. The country had few resources, limited technology and could barely feed the population. Undaunted, Amin went ahead with his plan.
As it turned out, they actually started “training” astronauts. Unfortunately, the only resources they had on hand were an abandoned obstacle course located in the middle of nowhere. Amin, playing the role of eternal optimist, vowed that they would persevere. He then went about recruiting some brave souls to take part in this venture for the glory of his country. Upon arriving at the training camp the volunteers were dismayed when they soon discovered that the only training materials on hand were a bunch of used and discarded tires.
They soon unvolunteered and haven’t been seen or heard from since.
Sadly, this marked the end of the fledgling Ugandan Space Program. To the best of my knowledge, it hasn’t been reinstituted but hey, you never know.
If you’re interested, some of the other worst ideas of the century can be found by clicking on the link.
Update December 20, 2012:
Holy crap! I might have spoken too soon. It seems one man in Uganda has taken it upon himself to restart the initiative. Details can be found here. Take that Idi Amin!