December 22, 2019
Space exploration is an essential driver of economic growth. Mankind’s discovery of new physical principles of the universe leads to the creation of new technologies, which transform economies to higher levels of production of physical wealth. It is science and assimilating new technologies like fission and fusion energy that are the engines of real economic growth; not money or stock values. Exploration of space stimulates the mind and breeds optimism.
“Ethiopia’s first satellite was sent into space on Friday, a landmark achievement for the ambitious country that also caps a banner year for Africa’s involvement in space.
“A Chinese Long March 4B rocket hoisted the first Ethiopian Remote Sensing Satellite (ETRSS-1) aloft from the Taiyuan space base in northern China.
“Scores of Ethiopian and Chinese officials and scientists gathered at the Entoto Observatory and Research Centre outside the capital, Addis Ababa, early Friday to watch a live broadcast.
“The 70-kilogramme (154-pound) satellite was developed by the Chinese Academy of Space Technology with the help of 21 Ethiopian scientists, according to the specialist website africanews.space…
“For us as a society, we are valuing this launch as something which lifts our national pride,” Paulos said.
“You know, this is a very poor country. Many in the younger generation don’t have big hopes of reaching space. But today we are giving this generation hope, helping this generation to think big and have self-esteem.”
Read: Ethiopia Celebrates Launch of First Satellite
Nuclear Energy is Necessary for Africa’s Growth
Russia’s Rosatom already is building a $29 billion nuclear plant complex for Egypt, and the company is also helping Nigeria, Uganda, the Republic of Congo, and Rwanda establish nuclear facilities. The El Dabaa Nuclear Power Plant in Egypt will have four VVER-1200 reactors, or water-water energetic reactors, which are Russian-designed Generation III+ reactors. Russia is financing 85% of the project with a loan of about $25 billion to Egypt, and Egypt is paying the remaining 15% over a period of 13 years, wrote Darrell Proctor in Power on Dec. 2.
Africa’s only current operating nuclear power plant is the 1.8 GW Koeberg Nuclear Power Station, north of Cape Town, which is owned and operated by Eskom, South Africa’s power utility. The plant recently had its operational period extended for another 20 years from 2024 when it was originally supposed to be decommissioned.
African nations are trying to increase their power generation capacity on a continent that has long struggled to sustain reliable power. The International Energy Agency recently reported that 57% of Africa’s population still does not have easy access to electricity, and those with access to power deal with frequent power outages.
African nations desperately need nuclear power for their survival. Without access to plentiful energy, people will die and nations will not develop.