The International Astronomical Union (IAU) and the Ethiopian government signed an addendum to the agreement to host the East African Regional Office of Astronomy for Development (EA-ROAD) in Ethiopia. The agreement makes provisions for the change of the host institution from Addis Ababa University to the Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute (ESSTI), which falls under the leadership of the Ethiopian Ministry of Science and Technology. Furthermore, it was agreed that the East African ROAD oversight committee will be chaired by the Ministry of Science and Technology, and will also comprise professionals from the East African astronomy community.
The addendum was signed by Prof. Piero Benvenuti, General Secretary of the IAU; Mr. Kevin Govender, Director of the Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD); and His Excellency Dr.-Ing. Getahun Mekuria, the Ethiopian Minister of Science and Technology. The signing event was attended by coordinators from all nine OAD Regional Offices (ROADs) and Language Centres (LOADs).
The minister addressed the audience of coordinators and representatives and highlighted the many exciting activities going on in Ethiopia in terms of astronomy and space science/technology. Later, the Regional Offices were taken on a tour of the facilities at the Ministry of Science and Technology which includes an in house data centre, PCB prototyping, support facilities for entrepreneurs, students and researchers etc.
The addendum to the agreement was signed after the fourth Middle East and Africa Regional IAU Meeting (MEARIM IV), which took place from 22–25 May 2017 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
IAU Press Release: https://www.iau.org/news/announcements/detail/ann17022/
Ministry of Science & Technology: http://www.most.gov.et/home