The Ethiopian government, through the Ministry of Innovation and Technology (MINT), has signed a memorandum of understanding with the American satellite company Orion Applied Science and Technology (Orion AST). The agreement focuses on the development of Ethiopia’s capabilities in the space industry.

During the occasion, Ethiopian Innovation and Technology Minister, Belete Molla said the government is working to support the economy. “MINT is responsible for supporting the economic development through innovation, technology, research and digitization. The MoU which we signed here today is, therefore, part of our priorities to make Ethiopia become more capable and ready to achieve its ambitions for growth and development.”

According to him, the Ethiopian government has developed and approved a ten-year Home-Grown Economy Strategic Plan. The plan focuses on knowledge, technology, innovation and the digital economy. Furthermore, it is based on agriculture, water, health, environmental energy, education and security, among others. The ten-year plan also incorporates AU STISA-2024, Agenda 2063 and SDGs 2030. The Ethiopian National Space Policy and Strategy 2018 emphasizes space for transformation, sustainable development, capacity building, and job creation.

ORION Applied Science and Technology President and CEO, Alexander Alvin stated that the MoU is a milestone and historic for both the U.S. and Ethiopia, “The MoU is a milestone that is going to be historical for both the U.S. and Ethiopia. Today’s event represents so much hope and opportunity for Ethiopia to become a leader in the space industry by way of our small company.”

ORION President stressed that the company will bring unparalleled capacities to support the Ethiopian government and people. He also noted that it will offer basic civil services to benefit farmers, water management, disaster and emergency relief operations. “Our goal is to be a good-faith partner with the entire people of Ethiopia.” Alvin said the organization will begin implementation promptly. Accordingly, this would ensure the provision of services of immediate impact to the Ethiopian people.