There is a growing list of African nations with a Satellite in space with Ethiopia becoming the latest to have one placed there.
The sub-Saharan state on Friday launched its first satellite into space, joining the list of other sub-Saharan nations striving to develop space programs to advance their development goals and encourage scientific innovation.
The launch was carried out in a space station in China whilst Ethiopians gathered and watched at home both citizens and senior officials watched the live broadcast at the Entoto Observatory and Research Centre just north of the capital Addis Ababa.
Demeke Makennen, Ethiopia’s deputy prime minister described the launch as a stepping stone to greatness.
“This will be a foundation for our historic journey to prosperity,” he made the remarks in a speech relayed on national TV.
The satellite was designed by Chinese and Ethiopian engineers and the Chinese government paid about $6 million of the more than $7 million manufacturing costs, Solomon Belay, director-general of the Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute, told Reuters.
“Space is food, space is job creation, a tool for technology…sovereignty, to reduce poverty, everything for Ethiopian to achieve universal and sustainable development,” he said.
The satellite will be used for weather forecast and crop monitoring, officials said.
The African Union adopted a policy on African space development in 2017 and declared that space science and technology could advance economic progress and natural resource management on the continent.