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’.

The proceedings of the workshop are published online at the Rwanda Journal