Satellite Radio Industry Was Pioneered by an Ethiopian
Celebrating Ethiopia during World Space Week – Oct. 4 – 10 How iconic that United Nations’ World Space week (Oct. 4…
-10) is also the name of a historic innovating company called WorldSpace, founded by Ethiopian-born Dr. Noah A. Samara. This is one of the greatest names in wireless technology and his legacy for innovation will continue. Dr. Samara is credit for creating the world’s first satellite radio system in what was an early attempt to provide educational information to millions of people in Africa. Dr. Samara would also become the embodiment of the American Dream, leaving Ethiopia at age 17 to study in the United States where he graduated from Georgetown University Law School with a focus in the field of international communication satellite laws. At age 34 Dr. Samara founded WorldSpace Inc and by 2008 the company reportedly had ownership over two satellites in space—was in the process of purchasing a third0–and was transmitting over 60 channels to African and Asia. Inspite of the enormous growth and influence, the company may have been to ahead of its time. On August 4, 2005, WorldSpace offered its IPO on the NASDAQ Stock Exchange with a first day trading close at $22.36 a share. After one year, the stock plummeted to $2.16. In October 2008, the company was forced into bankrupcy proceedings. Inspite of the upheavel, partly driven by the world economic slump and weary investors, the company managed to continue under its new name 1worldspace Inc. and still remains headquartered in the DC area with Dr. Samara as Chairman and CEO.