ADDIS ABABA, Nov.25 (Xinhua)-- Ethiopia will launch its first ever satellite next month with the support from the Chinese government, a Chinese official said on Monday.
Tan Jian, Chinese Ambassador to Ethiopia, said Ethiopia will launch its first ever satellite in December 2019, with support from the Chinese government.
Tan was speaking at an event co-organized by the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and the Ethiopian government in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa that aimed to promote the digital transformation of Ethiopia.
"In these times we need to capitalize on modern technology to catch up, catch up quickly, running may not be enough. We need to leapfrog by riding the tide of technologies like e-commerce, digital technology and space technology," said Tan.
Ethiopia is presently developing the country's first-ever satellite, a 70kg Multi-Spectral Remote Sensing Satellite, known as ETRSS-1, through support from the Chinese government.
The satellite, which is set to be launched from China, will have its command and control center in Ethiopia at the Entoto space observatory facility -- East Africa's only space observatory facility located on the 3,200-metre hills of Entoto in the outskirt of Addis Ababa.
Speaking earlier this month, Getahun Mekuria, Minister, Ethiopia Ministry of Innovation and Technology (MoIT), said the ETRSS-1 will be used for agricultural transformation and modernization of weather prediction systems in the east African country.
He also said the space satellite will support Ethiopia's green energy development, forest resource monitoring, security management, infrastructure development and monitoring.