Ethiopia plans to launch its first ever earth observatory satellite by September next year as it looks to steer the country’s economic progress.
The country has made headlines over the year with its attractive business environment that has lured massive investors.
Speaking to TheEastAfrican, the director general of the Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute at the Addis Ababa University Dr. Solomon Belay Tessema commented, “The satellite will be launched from China while the control and command station will be in Ethiopia.”
In addition to this China – Ethiopia collaboration, the East Asian nation will inject $6 million in financial aid and provide training for the 20 Ethiopian engineers involved in the project. The entire cost of the project is estimated to be $8million. China has stepped in as a potential investor in Africa’s fastest growing economy with its profound knowledge and expertise in space technology.
Among other partners in the project include 60 Ph.D. and MA students at the Addis Ababa University Space Science and Technology Institute, according to Dr. Solomon. Florida University, Paris Observatory, Torino and Rome universities, Korean Astronomy and Space Institute and Moscow Universities add to the list of partners as well.
Once the earth observatory satellite completed and launched to the orbit, Ethiopia, Africa’s oldest independent country will join several African countries that have built their satellite. They include Kenya, South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria, Ghana, and Algeria, Morocco.
According to Dr. Solomon, they anticipate using the technology resource for weather-monitoring capabilities which should be useful in the agriculture sector. Technology and innovation have pushed governments and businesses to seize the potential that can be harnessed from such platforms to make life and operations better.
Exploitation of space resources could bring socio-economic development according to the African Union (AU), and hence the need for a regulatory framework is needed.