Space Program of Ethiopia

------The Ethiopian Space Agency------

Level = 0                                         Development: Very Low


Country Overview

What has been going on in Ethiopia?



Space Agency and its Activity

What kind of space power do they have?



Weapons and Power Projection

Does Ethiopia have space weapons?



Timeline and the Future

What are they planning over there?

Population: 76,000,000 / Language: Amharic / GDP: $800 / Cities: Addis Ababa

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Ethiopia is Africa's oldest independent country. Apart from a five-year occupation by Mussolini's Italy, it has never been colonised.

But the nation is better known for its periodic droughts and famines, its long civil conflict and a border war with Eritrea.


In the first part of the 20th century Ethiopia forged strong links with Britain, whose troops helped evict the Italians in 1941 and put Emperor Haile Selassie back on his throne. From the 1960s British influence gave way to that of the US, which in turn was supplanted by the Soviet Union.


  • Politics: Prime Minister Meles Zenawi is in his third term. Secessionist groups maintain a low-level armed struggle
  • Economy: Ethiopia depends heavily on agriculture, which is often affected by drought. Coffee is a key export and vulnerable to low prices
  • International: Eritrea hived off in 1993 and a border dispute escalated into full-scale war in 1999. Border tensions persist. Ethiopia says it is technically at war with Somalia's Islamists

Although largely free from the coups that have plagued other African countries, Ethiopia's turmoil has been no less devastating. Drought, famine, war and ill-conceived policies brought millions to the brink of starvation in the 1970s and 1980s.

In 1974 this helped topple Haile Selassie. His regime was replaced by a self-proclaimed Marxist junta led by Mengistu Haile Mariam under which many thousands of opponents were purged or killed, property was confiscated and defence spending spiralled.

The overthrow of the junta in 1991 saw political and economic conditions stabilise, but not enough to restore investors' confidence.

Eritrea gained independence in 1993 following a referendum. Poor border demarkation developed into military conflict and full-scale war in the late 1990s in which tens of thousands of people were killed.


A fragile truce has held, but the UN says ongoing disputes over the demarcation of the border threaten peace.

Ethiopia is one of Africa's poorest states. Its people are almost two-thirds illiterate. The economy revolves around agriculture, which in turn relies on rainfall. The country is one of Africa's leading coffee producers.

Many Ethiopians depend on food aid from abroad. In 2004 the government began a drive to move more than two million people away from the arid highlands of the east in an attempt to provide a lasting solution to food shortages.

Full name: Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

  • Population: 74.2 million (UN, 2005)
  • Capital: Addis Ababa
  • Area: 1.13 million sq km (437,794 sq miles)
  • Major languages: Amharic, Oromo, Tigrinya, Somali
  • Major religions: Christianity, Islam
  • Life expectancy: 46 years (men), 49 years (women) (UN)
  • Monetary unit: 1 Birr = 100 cents
  • Main exports: Coffee, hides, oilseeds, beeswax, sugarcane
  • GNI per capita: US $160 (World Bank, 2006)
  • Internet domain: .et
  • International dialling code: +251

Head of state: President Woldegiorgis Girma

Prime minister: Meles Zenawi


Meles Zenawi's Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) won bitterly contested elections in May 2005, despite a swing to the opposition. The win paved the way for his third five-year stint as prime minister.

But the opposition cried foul and their supporters took to the streets. Around 36 people were killed and hundreds were arrested in the protests; 46 protesters died in further violence in November.

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 Ethiopia's Space Infrastructure



Ethiopia is one of the world's poorest countries, but unlike its neighbors in the extremely poverty stricken swathe from West Africa to the Horn in the East, Ethiopia has a long and coherent history- a tradition of centralized statehood. Not only does it not have an agency, but also no infrastructure in which one would arise. The Addis Ababa University does not offer astrophysics, astronautics or aeronautics, however it does manage the Addis Ababa Observatory, which monitors Earth's magnetic field (see below). The government has no ministry devoted to science of this type.


Ethiopia has no history of being part of any organization dealing with space, nor has any launch capability. It has an observatory though, located in the capital:



Addis Ababa Observatory


Ethiopia lacks the industrial base, the educational base and the political foundation for a process like this to occur within it. Ethiopia operates no satellites and, not having a presence, has no space power.

The government of Ethiopia in Addis Ababa has no plans for attempting to further any ambition in space development or research.

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Timeline of Events in Ethiopia

...From the Past to the Future

  2nd century AD - Kingdom of Axum becomes a regional trading power.

4th century - Coptic Christianity introduced from Egypt.

Obelisks in Axum, once the seat of an ancient kingdom

2005: Obelisk arrives back in Ethiopia

1530-31 - Muslim leader Ahmad Gran conquers much of Ethiopia.

1818-68 - Lij Kasa conquers Amhara, Gojjam, Tigray and Shoa.

1855 - Kasa becomes Emperor Tewodros II.

1868 - Tewodros defeated by a British expeditionary force and commits suicide to avoid capture.

1872 - Tigrayan chieftain becomes Yohannes IV.

1889 - Yohannes IV killed while fighting Mahdist forces and is succeeded by the king of Shoa, who becomes Emperor Menelik II.

1889 - Menelik signs a bilateral friendship treaty with Italy at Wuchale which Italy interprets as giving it a protectorate over Ethiopia.

1889 - Addis Ababa becomes Ethiopia's capital.

Italy invades

1895 - Italy invades Ethiopia.

1896 - Italian forces defeated by the Ethiopians at Adwa; treaty of Wuchale annulled; Italy recognises Ethiopia's independence but retains control over Eritrea.

Emperor of Ethiopia and god to the Rastafarian movement

  • Born in 1892
  • Became king in 1928, emperor in 1930
  • Died in 1975

2005: The last of the Ethiopian emperors

1913 - Menelik dies and is succeeded by his grandson, Lij Iyasu.

1916 - Lij Iyasu deposed and is succeeded by Menelik's daughter, Zawditu, who rules through a regent, Ras Tafari Makonnen.

1930 - Zawditu dies and is succeeded by Ras Tafari Makonnen, who becomes Emperor Haile Selassie I.

1935 - Italy invades Ethiopia.

1936 - Italians capture Addis Ababa, Haile Selassie flees, king of Italy made emperor of Ethiopia; Ethiopia combined with Eritrea and Italian Somaliland to become Italian East Africa.

Haile Selassie's reign

1941 - British and Commonwealth troops, greatly aided by the Ethiopian resistance - the arbegnoch - defeat the Italians, and restore Haile Selassie to his throne.

1952 - United Nations federates Eritrea with Ethiopia.

1962 - Haile Selassie annexes Eritrea, which becomes an Ethiopian province.

1963 - First conference of the Organisation of African Unity held in Addis Ababa.

"Red Terror"

1973-74 - An estimated 200,000 people die in Wallo province as a result of famine.

Thousands were killed under Marxist dictator's "Red Terror"

  • Born in 1937
  • Head of state 1974-91
  • Exiled in Zimbabwe
  • 2006: Convicted, in absentia, of genocide

2006: Mengistu found guilty of genocide

1974 - Haile Selassie overthrown in military coup. General Teferi Benti becomes head of state.

1975 - Haile Selassie dies in mysterious circumstances while in custody.

1977 - Benti killed and replaced by Colonel Mengistu Haile Mariam.

1977-79 - Thousands of government opponents die in "Red Terror" orchestrated by Mengistu; collectivisation of agriculture begins; Tigrayan People's Liberation Front launches war for regional autonomy.

1977 - Somalia invades Ethiopia's Ogaden region.

1984-85 FAMINE
Almost one million people died following crop failures

1978 - Somali forces defeated with massive help from the Soviet Union and Cuba.

1984-85 - Worst famine in a decade strikes; Western food aid sent; thousands forcibly resettled from Eritrea and Tigre.

1987 - Mengistu elected president under a new constitution.

1988 - Ethiopia and Somalia sign a peace treaty.

After Mengistu

1991 - Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front captures Addis Ababa, forcing Mengistu to flee the country; Eritrea establishes its own provisional government pending a referendum on independence.

Mengistu fled after failing to stop rebel advance in 1991

1992 - Haile Selassie's remains discovered under a palace toilet.

1993 - Eritrea becomes independent following referendum.

1994 - New constitution divides Ethiopia into ethnically-based regions.

1995 - Negasso Gidada becomes titular president; Meles Zenawi assumes post of prime minister.

1998 - Ethiopian-Eritrean border dispute erupts into armed clashes.

War with Eritrea

1999 - Ethiopian- Eritrean border clashes turn into a full-scale war.

2000 June - Ethiopia and Eritrea sign a ceasefire agreement which provides for a UN observer force to monitor the truce and supervise the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops from Eritrean territory.

2000 November - Haile Selassie buried in Addis Ababa's Trinity Cathedral.

2000 December - Ethiopia and Eritrea sign a peace agreement in Algeria, ending two years of conflict. The agreement establishes commissions to delineate the disputed border and provides for the exchange of prisoners and the return of displaced people.

Tens of thousands perished in a conflict over disputed borders

2001 24 February - Ethiopia says it has completed its troop withdrawal from Eritrea in accordance with UN-sponsored agreement.

2002 April - Ethiopia, Eritrea accept a new common border, drawn up by an independent commission, though both sides then lay claim to the town of Badme.

2003 April - Independent boundary commission rules that the disputed town of Badme lies in Eritrea. Ethiopia says the ruling is unacceptable.

2004 January-February - Nearly 200 killed in ethnic clashes in isolated western region of Gambella. Tens of thousands flee area.

2004 March - Start of resettlement programme to move more than two million people away from parched, over-worked highlands.

2004 November - Ethiopia says it accepts "in priniciple" a boundary commission's ruling on its border with Eritrea. But a protracted stalemate over the disputed town of Badme continues.

2005 March - US-based Human Rights Watch accuses army of "widespread murder, rape and torture" against Gambella region's ethnic Anuak people. Military angrily rejects charge.

2005 April - First section of Axum obelisk, looted by Italy in 1937, is returned to Ethiopia from Rome.

Disputed poll

2005 May - Third multi-party elections: Protests over alleged fraud precipitate violent protests in which around 40 people are shot dead.

2005 August-September - Election re-runs in more than 30 seats: Officials say the ruling party gains enough seats to form a government.

2005 November - 46 protesters die in fresh clashes over May's elections. Thousands of people, including opposition politicians and newspaper editors, are detained.

2005 December - International commission, based in The Hague, rules that Eritrea broke international law when it attacked Ethiopia in 1998.

More than 80 people, including journalists and many opposition leaders, are charged with treason and genocide over November's deadly clashes.

2006 May - Six political parties and armed groups form an opposition alliance, the Alliance for Freedom and Democracy, at a meeting in the Netherlands.

Several bomb blasts hit Addis Ababa. No organisation claims responsibility.

2006 August - Several hundred people are feared to have died and thousands are left homeless as floods hits the north, south and east.

Somalia tensions

2006 September - Ethiopia denies that its troops have crossed into Somalia to support the transitional government in Baidoa.

2006 October - UN Secretary General Kofi Annan urges Eritrea to pull back the troops it has moved into the buffer zone on the Ethiopian border. The UN says the incursion is a major ceasefire violation.

War of words between Ethiopia and Islamists controlling much of Somalia. Prime Minister Meles says Ethiopia was "technically" at war with the Islamists because they had declared holy war on his country.

2006 November - A UN report says several countries - including Ethiopia - have been violating a 1992 arms embargo on Somalia by supplying arms to the interim government there. Ethiopia's arch enemy Eritrea is accused of supplying the rival Islamist administration.

Ethiopia and Eritrea reject a proposal put forward by an independent boundary commission as a way around a four-year impasse over the demarcation of their shared border.

2006 December - Exiled former dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam is convicted, in absentia, of genocide at the end of a 12-year trial.

Ethiopia confirms it is battling Islamic militia in Somalia. In fierce fighting, Ethiopian aircraft, tanks and artillery support forces of the Somali transitional government.




Nothing Planned


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