Space Gneneration

Space Gneneration
South Africa
Link to Ethiopian Astronomy Pages

Possible Collaboration with  International Year of Astronomy-South Africa to support Astronomy Activities at Ras Darge and Beyond

AASDO  recent email exchanges with Kevin Govender, International Year of Astronomy-South Africa Point Contact, also a member the Southern African Astronomical Observatory and South African Large Telescope .

Greetings Abebe
My name is Kevin Govender from the South African Astronomical Observatory. I've been referred to you by Patrice Okouma. I'd like to chat about possible collaborations in building up towards the International Year of Astronomy 2009. Please have a look at - especially the Africa section, for an idea of what has been happening. I look forward to hearing from you

Dear Kevin
Thank you for contacting me. Yes it is true I am moderating the African Scientific Network. It is mostly known among faculty members and students in Africa ( We are now about 10 years old. There is an idea to come out of the virtual space soon.  Regarding IAY I am religiously following your program and others. One of the things I plan to do within the ASN platform is to promote your program as well as other African programs. For that I am just putting together a site which collects and dessiminates information on activities in Africa, including current and previous activities. Here is a trial site. We definitely appreciate your input on this.

I am operating outside the astronomy community. I know that there are a few plans here and there.  I am glad that there is South Africa for every one. I think you can do something good for the continent.


HHi Michael
 Hi Michael

Thank you for your quick response.

I think we must definitely chat more about 2009 and beyond. I completely agree with your sentiments about sustainable programmes vs "warm and fuzzy feeling" programmes. I'd like to see Africa move forward in bounds and small activities will not get us there. The idea with IYA2009 is to use the momentum generated to really drive development on all levels. Have you seen the site on the 11th cornerstone?
I attach also the plan for astronomy in Africa that we put together in anticipation of IYA.
The whole idea is to use astronomy as a stimulus for education, especially in Maths and Science, and more especially at all education levels, from early childhood to university. This is astronomy's greatest use - a stimulus for science and scientific thinking!

Dear Kevin

Let's keep the discussion going. You have all the support from me. IAY-Africa will be promoted to the fullest. There thousands of young people listening, and we must help them get there. One idea that you may entertain is the following. I am organizing a good number of volunteers for science technology education expedition in Ethiopia and beyond beginning 2009. There is high possibility that I will get some funding to do it, at least I will get some hardware, like computers etc. It would interesting or SAAO to support and partner with us. I will keep you in the loop about this


We have a lot of needs but I really don't mind taking IAY information and resources from you deep into Ethiopia.

On a different note the president of NRF will be the guest of APS, he will speak in a session that I will chair (Physics in Africa 2009), and I will mention this communication to him. There is also an other program in South called the National Youth Development Trust, led my Mr. Adrian and his colleagues. They are very interested to push the African space science agenda. I copied this message to him. He is very interested to support rocket programs in subsaharan Africa. His work is located at

I am look forward to   SAAO, NYDT and AASDO collaborations to work in some way to push this agenda forward.

Please rest assured that I will read this document and I will act on it as much time and experise allows.


Great stuff

Greetings Adrian - our paths cross again - we were linked through UNAWE before. Let's chat - what is your cellphone number? My first thoughts about the expedition: great project - looks brilliant. I could see how we can support in the way of providing some resources towards using the sky on the trip. After all, it is the most accessible scientific laboratory in rural areas. Then perhaps as part of the expedition you could take along a telescope or something and have evening stargazing to stimulate the wonder in the audiences in the local areas.
What do you think? We should put together a one-pager (don't know if you saw the "one pager" project - we're asking people all over africa to send in a brief of small project so that we can source funding as a collective for all these projects) - check out
Let's keep it moving

Updated: Mar 15, 2007