(Ecofin Agency) - Solomon Belay Tessema, managing director of the Ethiopian space science and technology institute, revealed that the country would launch its first satellite into space in 2019. This will be an earth observation satellite launched in China while the command center will be in Ethiopia. The satellite is currently being constructed by Chinese engineers assisted by 20 Ethiopian engineers.
Solomon Belay Tessema explained that Ethiopia’s main objectives for "launching this first satellite are two. The first is to build technology application capacity and skills of our engineers through collaborations with different countries’ space scientists and institutions. For this purpose, Ethiopian engineers are being trained by China.
Once the technology transfer is completed, the second objective for Ethiopia is the launch of a second satellite independently. Once the satellite is built and launched, Ethiopia will become one of the eight African countries to have built and launched a satellite after South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria, Ghana, Algeria, Morocco, and Kenya.