University of Rwanda hosted the Fourth East African Astronomy workshop
Text by astro4dev.org : //www.astro4dev.org/
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.
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.
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 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.
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