We have lift-off! Ethiopia’s first satellite launched into space

23 Dec 2019

On 20th December, Ethiopia’s first-ever earth observatory satellite was launched into space.

The Ethiopian Remote Sensing Satellite (ETRSS-1), which will be used to gather data for agricultural, mining and environmental protection, was sent into space from Taiyuan space base in northern China.

Ethiopian officials, including Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen and former Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn, Chinese officials and scores of Ethiopians watched the live broadcast of the launch from a command and control centre set up at the Entoto Observatory and Research Centre on the outskirts of Addis Ababa.

Deputy Prime Minister Demeke speaking at the launching ceremony

This will be a foundation for our historic journey to prosperity,’ Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen said in a speech at the launch.

Stating the importance of building global competitiveness in technology, Deputy Prime Minister Demeke said, the launching of the satellite is the first step to Ethiopia’s progress towards this goal.

In a congratulatory message, Prime Minister Abiy said, “Ethiopia has joined the effort to seek knowledge and information from space.”

According to experts, the satellite would contribute a lot in gathering beneficial information, and alleviate Ethiopia’s dependency on other countries for information.

The construction of the satellite took three years, with Ethiopian and Chinese engineers working together. The launch makes Ethiopia the eleventh African country to have a satellite in space.

Ethiopia also plans to launch a communication satellite for telecommunications and broadcasting services in the future.

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