A small Ethiopian delegation visited South Africa and came to AIMS on Monday, Sept 19. The delegation was composed of scientists setting up the Entoto Astronomical Observatory and Space Science Center, an astronomical observatory that the Ethiopian Space Science Society (ESSS) has been setting up for a few years.
The observatory is almost ready to open and the delegation came to learn about governance and to set up academic partnerships with South African institutions, including SAAO (South African Astronomical Observatory), UCT, UWC, NASSP (National Astrophysics and Space Science Programme), the Global Office of Astronomy for Development and AIMS.
Director Barry Green, IT Manager Jan Groenewald and Carolina Ödman-Govender from AIMS-NEI spent the morning with them showing them around and describing how AIMS is run, in particular administrative and IT aspects. The delegation had lunch with the Ethiopian students currently studying at AIMS. Before leaving, they made contact with Prof. Bruce Bassett of the AIMS Cosmology Group. They are keen to stay in touch to learn from the experience of setting up a small research group.
With the prospects of opening an AIMS Centre in Ethiopia, we were very glad to establish new contacts with the country’s scientific community. Although not directly involved with AIMS Ethiopia, they know our partners very well and are visibly enthusiastic about the prospect of an AIMS centre in Ethiopia, with whom they are likely to cooperate, like AIMS South Africa cooperates with local academic and research institutions.
The members of the delegation were:
– Dr. Baylie Damtie, Bahir Dar University President
– Prof Gezahegn Yirgu, ESSS Manager and, Dean School of Earth and Planetary Science, AAU representative
– Tesegaye Kassa, Bahir Dar University representative
– Dr. Solomon Belay, Chair, Research, Education and Public outreach Program and EAOSS, Technical Committee chairman, ESSS representative