Ethiopia and China have signed an agreement to collaboratively build a communication and broadcast satellite.
The agreement was signed in Addis Ababa on May 27, 2019, by Dr Solomon Belay, Director General of Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute, and Han Chinping, Deputy President of Chinese Rocket Company.
The satellite will be built by experts from Ethiopia and China and will be the second satellite by the Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute for the Ethiopian government.
The satellite set to be built in Ethiopia is expected to use 50% local input, according to the official report of the Ministry of Innovation and Technology of Ethiopia.
Late last year, Ethiopia disclosed plans to launch a satellite in September 2019 with China’s backing, according to Reuters report.
Commenting about the project at the time, the head of the Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute (ESSTI), Solomon Belay, said: “The main mission of this space satellite is to monitor climate change and assess environmental issues such as proper application of water resources, mining activities and other activities related to environmental purposes.”
Ethiopia’s Multi-Spectral Remote Sensing Satellite ETRSS-1 will be launched into space in November 2019. The design, development and manufacturing of the satellite are done in collaboration with the Chinese at a cost of $8m. China has reportedly provided training and $6m for the project.