True or False Ethiopian Born Noah Samara Invented Satellite Radio?
Noah Samara, photo courtesy of Wikipedia
The answer is true. The same country that has brought the world the likes of the world’s richest person of African descent Mr. Mohammed Al Amoudi has also brought the world Noah Samara.
Mr. Samara is indeed the founder and CEO of WorldSpace, which pioneered the satellite radio technology, thereby being the first to introduce the technology to the market.
Noah Samara was born in Ethiopia and comes from a very diverse background. He was born to an Ethiopian mother and a Sudanese father. At the age of 17, Noah left Ethiopia and the familiar East African coast for America, in search of a better education. He found the education that he was looking for, while in America and his educational sojourn ended with him receiving his law degree from Georgetown University.
The area that he chose to specialise in was satellite communications law. Prior to the launch of World Space, Noah embarked on career that was heavily weighted towards satellite technology. In 1990 he resigned from his job and began working towards the launch of WorldSpace. And $USD 2.5B later World Space was up and running with it’s first satellite-AfriStar. The company has been lauded for it’s ability to reach remote area’s of the world with vital information, via satellite transmission.
Major partners of World Space are NPR Radio, BBC, CNN, and Bloomberg. In addition to starting WorldSpace, Mr. Samara also did other things with his his experience in the satellite industry-one of which was to help bring XM Satellite radio to fruition.
One of the most interesting thing facts about Mr. Samara’s launching of World Space, were the altruistic motives that inspired him to start the company. He cites the need to provide adequate access to radio for populations in rural Asia and Africa that were unable to receive radio signals prior to the arrival of WorldSpace.
In closing, I would like to say that I think Noah represents a very interesting aspect of Ethiopia. That Ethiopia has reached a tipping point (when it comes to business) and that with the right ingredients the future may hold even greater business success in store for this very mature nation.