(Ecofin Agency) - The government of Ethiopia announced the soon launching of the construction of satellite manufacturing, assembly, integration and testing (MAIT) facilities in Addis Ababa, as part of the second phase of its space development program. The project, which has been entrusted to the French space company ArianeGroup, is expected to start in January 2020 with a completion deadline of 30 months.
Money to be disbursed is not disclosed but, according to the Ethiopian Ministry of Innovation and Technology, European Investment Bank (EIB) is backing the project through a tripartite agreement involving the Ethiopian Government, EIB, and ArianeGroup.
The Engineering Research and Development Directorate (SERDD), a division of the Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute (ESSTI), will lead the facility’s management once construction is completed. SERDD will also ensure the optimization of its capacity in developing satellite systems and components.
According to the government, the facility will not only benefit Ethiopia but also the development of space projects in other East African countries.