The erstwhile Deputy Prime Minister of Ethiopia and Patron of Ethiopian Space Science Society (ESSS), Mr Tefera Waluwa, says the status of Ethiopia in the field of space science might be at the nascent stage, but, progress in this arena is gathering momentum. Click here to see the Pictures.

He further states, ‘‘Our government is assisting ESSS in numbers of projects i.e. A Space Observatory which is already established at Entoto Mountain, near Addis Ababa, and now two automated optical telescopes are being commissioned which may end by January 2015.’’
Mr Tefera during his brief visit to AMU has conducted a seminar on ‘Space Science and Technology for Ethiopia’ at new Auditorium, Main Campus on Dec 15, 2014. The seminar was attended by AMU top officials, academic members, students and others.
In an interactive session, Mr Tefera glibly enlightened the gathering by apprising them about the inherent dynamism of space science & technology and its quintessential significance for Ethiopia’s development.
Vice President, Dr Agena Anjulo, steering the seminar, confessed that Space Science has an immense potential with far-reaching implication; which if properly harnessed, will hasten the process of national development.
Mr Tefera was overwhelmed with the response of over 200 members from AMU who filled registration forms to be the members of ESSS and more are willingly waiting.
Elaborating on the proposed space projects, he, said, ‘‘There is another project around mountain Abuna Yoseph at Lalibela; it’s the site testing project to study whether the area is appropriate enough to establish space observatory.’’
‘‘There are many such projects and we have already started taking graduate students at our research and training centre. At Lalibela, we have 21 Doctorate (PhD) and 13 second degree students in Astronomy, Astrophysics, Space Observation and Space Science programs.’’
He has revealed ESSS is working to strengthen the programs of three universities i.e. Addis Ababa, Bahirdar and Jimma; we expect other universities should take initiative as government is for developing branch office of International Astronomical Union (IAU) in East African countries. Addis Ababa already has IAU branch headed by the director with government taking the full responsibility.
In his discussion with AMU officials, he said, we have decided to establish ESSS branch at Arba Minch. This branch will tackle the responsibility in this area to create awareness and to run the project.
In our visit to Chencha, we found the ‘Mountain Guge’ with the altitude of 4200 meters above the sea level is close to the equator; this venue might be fit to set up space observatory. But now it will be the responsibility of proposed ESSS branch at Arba Minch and AMU to find out whether this mountain range fits the bill.
He opined, ESSS wants AMU to take care of scientific aspect and ownership of the project, our branch association here will work on mobilizing the educated, business and other people those want to support at local and national level.
And assured our scientists will assist AMU to start a program in Space Science. They will train people and design the curriculum and show the roadmap, how to move on,’’ he quipped. To achieve our objective, we aim to create necessary human capital which is the determinant factor; and those scientists and engineers will show us the way,’’ he quipped.

(By Corporate Communication Directorate: Philips Joseph)