Space science made us realize our potential: Tefera Waluwa

Ethiopia having launched its first observatory satellite into space has not only bolstered national spirit but broken the mental block that space science belonged to elite and for those who live in luxury, said, the erstwhile Deputy Prime Minister and Patron of Ethiopian Space Science Society, Mr Tefera Waluwa. Click here to see the pictures

Speaking on the sideline of the 14th annual conference on ‘Role of Physics in Science Advancement’, Mr Tefera Waluwa, informed that Ethiopia has launched its first observatory satellite into space on December 20, 2019, at 03.21 hours GMT from Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in Xinzhou, Shanxi Province, China.

He adds it’s not about launching one or two satellites, for us change of mindset is more important; actually, we have come of age because by then launching satellite or thinking about it was a taboo. It was thought that the very concept of space science and technology was exclusively for the developed world which continued to reverberate within elites of Ethiopia and in the world. But having launched first satellite, we have shattered this mindset that made us believe nothing is impossible.

Shedding light on space science infrastructure, he said, now there are few universities that run space programs in their science studies. Addis Ababa University and Bahir Dar University have included space science in their programs; Jimma University runs astrophysics, Adama Science & Technology University has Satellite Science and Technology and now AMU is ready to go into it including installing Space Observatory at Guge Mountain and Worabe University will soon have department on Astronomy.

On investment in space science, Mr Tefera, said, every field needs money but as of now the point is how do you use it; you may be able to use it most effectively to alleviate poverty or may misuse, but we have come out of that phase where money was going down the drain. The key element of space science is that it has helped us in breaking negative mindset that has released our true potential to get yourself firmly organized, develop effective strategy and then tackle myriad challenges staring at your face.

He revealed presently, Ethiopia has two advanced Telescopes installed at Entoto Observatory around Addis Ababa along with other some highly advanced instruments. Bahir Dar University also has key instruments required for space science and over next five years Ethiopia will be far better.

Ethiopia’s first 70-kilogram remote sensing satellite is being used for agricultural, climate, mining and environmental observations, allowing the Horn of Africa to collect data and improve its ability to plan for changing weather patterns. It operates from space around 700 kilometers above the surface of earth.

(Corporate Communication Directorate)