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Ethiopia pushes for regional space power, awaits launch permit

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By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

April 11, 2017 (ADDIS ABABA) - The Ethiopian Space Science Society (ESSS) on Tuesday said it is working on its ambitious plan to launch its first ever research satellite into space.

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Ethiopian prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn (Allafrica)

ESSS officials told Sudan Tribune that the horn of Africa nation was waiting for an international launch licence grants to effect the plan.

Once it is permitted, the horn of African’s nation will launch a medium sized satellite into orbit which will be used mainly to predict much better weather forecast as parts of the country’s efforts to curb drought-induced consequences.

The Africa’s second most populous nation had been a subject of repeated severe drought over past years and the government hopes the space program will eventually boost local agriculture production and will further scale up industrial communication.

To minimise cost and reliance on foreign countries, Addis Ababa is also working on manufacturing both the space launch vehicle and its carrier rocket locally to avoid reliance on foreign countries and companies.

Ethiopia Ministry of Science and Technology believes the home-made satellite might be launched to circle the globe within 2-5 years.

Sudan Tribune has reliably learnt that Ethiopia’s space program has other remote sensing activities inside the country but no military mission.

If the horn of Africa nation’s space ambitions succeeds, Ethiopia will eventually become the first space power in the horn and north East of Africa.

Ethiopia’s space program is believed to inspire other regional neighbours including Sudan and Kenya to speed up their space ambitions. Ethiopia is the first country to launch space program in East Africa joining few other leading African countries such as Nigeria, South Africa and Egypt.

Ethiopia’s space program is funded by Ethiopian-Saudi billionaire businessman, Sheik Mohammed al-amoudi.

The Ethiopian Prime Minister chairs the Space Science Society Council.

(ST)

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