Ethiopia Enacts Space Policy into Law

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Ethiopia has passed a resolution to enact the Ethiopian Space Policy into law. This will enable Ethiopia to make use of outer space for peaceful purposes, especially enabling it to use space technologies as a stepping stone to overcome economic and social issues it faces.

The council of ministers, in passing the resolution, emphasized that the space science policy syncs well with the outlined direction of Ethiopia's economic structural change.

Ethiopia’s recent quest into space science crystallized in 2004 with the formation of the Ethiopian Space Science Society, which came into being with three astronomers and forty-seven individuals with a keen interest in space science and exploration. The Ethiopian Space Society, fourteen years in existence, now boasts of 10,000 plus members and now has a space observatory on the 3,200 meter high hills of Entoto, which is the only in East Africa. The council of ministers followed suit in 2016 when it approved the establishment of Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute (ESSTI).

Ethiopia is currently underway developing its first satellite, which is scheduled for launch in September, 2019. The satellite that will be in orbit in less than a year is purposed to improve Ethiopia’s weather monitoring capabilities. While the command and control center of the satellite will be stationed in Ethiopia, the $8 million worth satellite will be launched from China.

Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt and Morocco are among other African nations that have enacted similar policies into law.

Sources: Space in Africa, ENA

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