Thursday, August 27, 2015

Ethiopia launches space program, the first in East Africa

(Aug 26, 2015, (Entoto, Ethiopia))--The east African country, which is one of the poorest nations in the world, aims to put a state-of-the-art satellite into orbit within five years as part of its plans to improve communications.

Ethiopia, which is receiving £300 million in British aid this year, will now become the fourth country to have developed a space programme while receiving support from UK taxpayers.

It follows on from India, Nigeria and Pakistan who have all been granted millions of pounds in aid from the Department for International Development (DfID). The programme in Ethiopia has already kick-started with a £1.9million observatory being built in the hills above the capital of Addis Ababa.

The first step was building two metal domes, which will be used to house two computer-controlled telescopes, on the top of Mount Entoto. The observatory was paid for by Mohammed Alamoudi, an Ethiopian-Saudi businessman and the country's richest man, who used funds from the Ethiopian Space Science Society (ESSS) which he set up in 2004. Read more from

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