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The fourth East African Astronomy Workshop

Overview of the project

Project title: The fourth East African Astronomy Workshop
Project leader: Dr. Pheneas Nkundabakura

The series of workshops in Astronomy in East Africa began in 2009 during the International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009). The first workshop was held in November 2009 in Nairobi, Kenya and was supported largely by the International Astronomical Union/ Teaching for Astronomy Development (IAU/TAD), Developing Astronomy Globally (DAG), SAAO, University of Nairobi and the International Science Programmes (ISP- Upsalla University). Most of the attendants were largely drawn from outside the region, including USA and South Africa. The second workshop was held in February 2011 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, while the third workshop was held in November 2012 in Kampala, Uganda. The resource persons in both workshops were drawn from USA, IAU/OAD, SAAO, SA SKA, African VLBI network project and from the South African DST.

The fourth workshop, being organized by the East African Astronomical Society (EAAS) is scheduled in May 2014 at Kigali-Rwanda. The purpose of these workshops is to strengthen capacity building in Astronomy and Astrophysics and Space Science in general and also provide a forum for astronomers from the region to train young and upcoming scientists. It provides an opportunity to exchange ideas, cross-border cosupervision and sharing of resources. There already exists a Bachelor’s degree programme in Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Nairobi, Kenya and a number of other universities in the region are in the process of curriculum development of the same. The Ethiopian Space Science Society is building two 1-m class optical telescopes at Entoto Observatory near Addis Ababa. There is also a project to transform old telecom dishes into radioastronomy antennas to make a strong VLBI African network.

None of the individual countries have enough manpower or the resources to run programmes in astronomy on their own and this calls for networking and sharing of expertise to teach and supervise students across East Africa.

Project Update: Fourth East African Astronomy workshop

The Fourth East African Astronomy workshop hosted at the University of Rwanda from June 30th to July 4th 2014

Fourth East African Astronomy workshop, sponsored by the IAU Office of Astronomy for Development, was hosted by the University of Rwanda in Kigali City between June 30th and July 4th 2014. The workshop concerned the status and the development of astronomy research in East Africa. Its aims were to strengthen capacity building in astronomy in the region, to train upcoming scientists and to provide a platform for the exchange of ideas and sharing of resources in East Africa.

Many of the participating countries do not possess the resources to run astronomy programmes individually. Therefore, the workshop brought together regional and international astronomers to provide an opportunity for collaboration among researchers of the East African region. Participants included students and professionals from Rwanda, Kenya, Burundi, Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, South Africa, France, Germany and USA.

Group photo at EAASW 2014

Participants of the Fourth East African Astronomy Workshop

Many universities in the region are currently developing their science curriculum, a process in which this workshop can contribute greatly. Dr. Pheneas Nkundabakura, astrophysicist and physics lecturer at University of Rwanda – College of Education expressed his support for the workshop: “This is the right time. The outcome of this workshop will help to strengthen the development of Astronomy and Astrophysics in the region”.

The workshop featured lectures on key areas in astronomy as well as research paper presentations. Students were trained to analyse and interpret data in various domains of astronomy. Selected papers of the workshop will be published in a special edition of the Rwanda Online Journal owned by the University of Rwanda – College of Science and Technology. For a full report on the workshop, please click on the following link to download the Fourth East African Astronomy Workshop Report.

The Fourth East African Astronomy workshop was sponsored by the International Astronomical Union’s Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) as well as by the Rwandan Ministry of Education, the University of Rwanda, Uppsala University and the International Center for Theoretical Physics.

The agenda and details of the Fourth East African Astronomy workshop can be found here. To find out more about the workshop and astronomy in East Africa in general, read this article by ‘The Kenyan Astrophysicist’.

First announcement of The 4th East African Astronomy Workshop (EAAW-IV)

First ANNOUNCEMENT of The fourth East African Astronomy Workshop (EAAW-IV)

University of Rwanda -College of Education (Former Kigali Institute of Education)
Kigali-Rwanda June 30- July 04, 2014

https://sites.google.com/site/eaasconference2014/

The astronomical community of the East Africa will meet in Kigali (June 30 – July 04) to explore the advancement of the astronomy in the region.

The registration is now open.

BACKGROUND

The series of workshops in Astronomy in East Africa began in 2009 during the International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009). The first workshop was held in November 2009 in Nairobi, Kenya and was supported largely by the International Astronomical Union/ Teaching for Astronomy Development (IAU/TAD), Developing Astronomy Globally (DAG), SAAO, University of Nairobi and the International Science Programmes (ISP- Upsalla University). Most of the resource persons were largely drawn from outside the region, including USA and South Africa. The second workshop was held in February 2011 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and the resource persons were drawn largely from the East African region with only two others from South Africa, led by the Director of OAD, Mr. Kevin Govender and Dr. Petri Vaisanen of SAAO. The sponsorship came from the IAU, SAAO and the Ethiopian Space Science. Society. The third workshop was held in November 2012 in Kampala, Uganda. The resource persons were drawn from IAU/OAD, SAAO, SA SKA, African VLBI network project and from South Africa DST.
The fourth workshop, being organized by the East African Astronomical Society (EAAS) is scheduled from June 30 up to July 04 2014 at University of Rwanda- College of Education (former Kigali Institute of Education), Kigali-Rwanda. The purpose of these workshops is to strengthen capacity building in Astronomy and Astrophysics and Space Science in general and also provide a forum for astronomers from the region to train young and upcoming scientists. It provides an opportunity for exchange of ideas, cross border co-supervision and sharing of resources. There already exists a Bachelor’s degree programme in Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Nairobi, Kenya and a number of other universities in the region are in the process of curriculum development of the same. The Ethiopian Space Science Society is running two 1-m class optical telescopes at Entoto Observatory near Addis Ababa. There is project to transform old telecom dishes into radioastronomy antennas to make a strong VLBI African network. None of the individual countries have enough manpower and the resources to run programmes in astronomy on their own and this calls for networking and sharing of expertise to teach and supervise students across East Africa.

The Local Organisation has started to work on organization. Details can be found at the conference web site: https://sites.google.com/site/eaasconference2014/

The main conference supporters are the IAU-OAD, the Ministry of Education-Rwanda, The University of Rwanda (College of Education and College of Science and Technology), The ICTP, ISP -Upsala University and others.

SCIENCE SESSION TOPICS

  • Solar system and exo-planets
  • Stellar Astrophysics
  • High energy astrophysics and compact objects
  • Cosmology
  • Galaxies and Interstellar medium
  • Data reduction and analysis from virtual observatories
  • Acheoastronomy
  • Solar physics
  • Astronomy Education/outreach
  • Astronomy and Human Space Technology

FORMAT

Participants would arrive by Monday June 30 afternoon. It is then planned to cover the sessions listed above over the following 4 days, with the mid-week (Wednesday) afternoon free for excursions and other activities. In order to maximise interactions between different fields, all presentations will be to the whole group.
REGISTRATION
The deadline for registration is March 01, 2014.

IMPORTANT DATES/DEADLINES:

1 February 2014 Registration opens

1 March 2014 Registration closes

The abstract registration dates will be announced later.

CONFERENCE HOTEL AND ACCOMMODATION

The conference will take place at the La Palisse Hotel, very close to the airport. Some Public talks will be scheduled at University of Rwanda -College of Education.
Full details on the Hotel can be found at http://lapalissehotel.com/

Sharing Rooms

Students will share rooms.

LOCAL ORGANIZING COMMITTEE

Please contact the LOC at nkundapheneas@yahoo.fr , if you have any queries.