Ethiopia launched country’s first satellite

On the 20 of December 2019 Ethiopians attended the launch of the country’s first micro-satellite (ETRSS-1) at the Entoto Observatory on the outskirts of the capital Addis Ababa, in what was described as an amazing strike to joining the host of other Sub-African States in their attempts to develop space agenda to press on their development goals and encourage scientific innovation on the continent.

The satellite, which was designed by Chinese and Ethiopian engineers, was largely financed by the Chinese government at a cost of $6 million and the Ethiopian government settling just $1 million of the $7 million manufacturing cost as revealed to The Reuters by Solomon Belay, director-general of the Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute.

The satellite was launched from a space station in China.

Delivering a speech on the occasion, Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnone said the space program “will be a foundation for our historic journey to prosperity”.

“Space is food, space is job creation, a tool for technology…sovereignty, to reduce poverty, everything for Ethiopian to achieve universal and sustainable development,” continued, in a live broadcast.

According to government officials, the satellite will be used for weather forecasts and crop monitoring.

As satellites are growing smaller and more affordable to buy and launch, to date 10 African countries in cooperation with developed countries have launched satellites into orbit.

The following are now the ten countries that lunched satellites in Africa:

  • Nigeria
  • South Africa
  • Angola
  • Ghana
  • Egypt
  • Kenya
  • Algeria
  • Morocco
  • Rwanda and
  • Ethiopia