Addis Ababa August 26/2017 After years of preparations and conducting feasibility study, Ethiopia is ready to moving to the space by launching its own communication satellite.
The satellite to be launched is mainly for media and communication purposes in which ethio telecom, the country’s telecom giant, plans to consume half of it, CEO of ethio telecom, Andualem Admassie told ENA.
Ethio telecom alone pays 12 million USD annual fee for satellite services and the expense soars when satellite services are utilized by media, aviation, and national security intuitions.
“Ownership of the technology and promotion of the country’s image are amongst the plenty benefits that are to be obtained from launching the satellite” Andualem said.
Since the country is undertaking a remarkable work in the area, foreign PhD students are coming to the Entoto Observatory and Research Center for research and learning.
Combined with the ongoing activities and research in space science, launching the satellite will have a tremendous impact on the nation’s development, he added.
“The sum of all this is that the country’s all rounded development will enable it to take a comparative advantage over others” he pointed out.
Project offices are already being set and the projects will practically start in less than three years.
Launching the satellite will place the Horn African nation ahead of neighboring countries.
South Africa, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco and Nigeria are the African countries that have launched their own satellites for various purposes of utilization.
Director General of Information Network Security Agency (INSA), Major General Teklebrhan Weldearegay on his part said that launching a satellite would enable the country get on time information.
The fact that the national demands in terms of getting satellite information are in the hands, interest and goodwill of service providers, making essential for Ethiopia to launch its own satellite.
“The key development programs which are crucial in speeding up the political, economic and peaceful integration of development programs require up to date information” he stated.
Collaborative works of mobilizing resources for designing, managing, manufacturing and maintenance of the satellite to be launched is underway.
“During the globalization era, Ethiopia won’t afford to be alienated from the rest of the world”; he said asserting the need to catch up with other countries in the area.
The Director-General said that interest of service providers to maintain the rental income and the desire to avoid competitors, may be a major challenge for Ethiopia in its efforts to launch its satellite.
In his recent remarks to the Council of Ethiopian Space Science Technology Prime Minister Hailemariam has made clear that Ethiopia will do whatever it cost to launch its satellite.
The Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST), Ethiopian Space Science Institute, Sulilta Earth Station and other government as well as private stakeholders are already working on mobilizing their human resources required to accelerate the nation’s satellite launching program.