Ethiopia unveils space programme

ADDIS ABABA - Ethiopia has unveiled the first phase of its space exploration programme.

It’s putting the finishing touches to east Africa’s largest space observatory in the Entoto mountains near Addis Ababa.

The facility will promote astronomy research and provide training for young scientists.

On Friday, Ethiopia started installing the silver dome on its observatory near the capital.

It’s an ideal location because there are very few clouds.

Two telescopes will enable scientists to see into deep space.

Data collected will help transform old ways of farming into modern agriculture.

Promoting science among the youth is seen as key to developing the nation.

“Once we establish this facility and create masters and PHD programs in space sciences, our students will be able to go anywhere and participate in international satellite communication missions," said Tulu Besha, Head of Earth Observation. 

"They will get good skills and can work to benefit other types of technology too, like telecommunications."

Ethiopia is not the first African nation to be able to view the skies.

South Africa has its National Space Agency and the African Union announced plans to build The African Space Agency four years ago.