Connect with us

Politics and Society

Ethiopia joins the African space race

The $3 million space programme launched last month is hoped to boost farming and communications



Ethiopia has joined the African “Space Race” after launching a $3 million space programme, joining only a few other African countries with space programs.

The east-African country joins South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, and Kenya (Uganda also has a fledgling space initiative).

Ethiopia built its astronomical observatory in the capital Addis Ababa, atop Mount Entoto seen as “the first step towards creating a fully fledged national space agency” “and the government hopes the move will boost the local agriculture and communication industries” Sciencealert reported.

The observatory was built through the Ethiopian Space Science Society (ESSS), from funds which were availed by Mohammed Alamoudi, an Ethiopian-Saudi businessman.


Looking forward, the Ethiopian government “aims to put a satellite into orbit within five years to monitor farmland and to improve communications”.

The space programme has been a subject of great debate and critics argue the country which is grappling with poverty is misdirecting its funds and energies while others believe the programme is a step in the right direction.

Solomon Belay, the director of the observatory, said space exploration is critical to development.

“Engineering and sciences are important to transform our (traditional) agriculture into industry”.

“People said we were crazy. The attention of the government was to secure food security, not to start a space and technology programme. Our idea was contrary to that,” Dailymail reported.


Source: Dailymail