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China may help Ethiopia build satellite data receiver station

While Beijing and Addis Ababa are still in talks over the receiver station, the project is expected to be realised in the next three years.

After helping Ethiopia launch its first satellite, China is expected to contribute in building a continental satellite data receiver station for Ethiopia, Dr Solomon Belay, Director General of Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute (ESSTI), was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

Belay told Xinhua that Beijing and Addis Ababa are on a path to agreeing on a long-term partnership ranging from training programs for Ethiopian space engineers to assisting Ethiopia with launching space satellites and setting up a continental satellite data receiver station.

The continental satellite data receiving station will ideally be placed to disseminate information to various African countries.

Last December, China helped Ethiopia launch its first satellite ETRSS-1 into space by providing $6m grant and training 21 Ethiopian engineers.

Apart from the receiver station, Ethiopia has also revealed plans to commence the construction of its satellite manufacturing, assembly, integration and test centre (MAIT) starting this January in collaboration French company ArianeGroup and with funding from the European Investment Bank.