Fig1. Picture taken during the conference sessions.
Ethiopia participated in the 5th African Leadership Conference on space science that was held on from December, 3rd-6th at Accra, Ghana. Representatives from Ethiopia comprising of Ethiopian Space Science Society Board chairman, Mr. Tefera Waluwa and Dr. Tulu Besha Bedada,head of earth observation at Entoto observatory, together with the Ethiopian Ambassador Gifti Abaseya to Ghana have visited the Ministry of Environment, Science, technology of Ghana and innovation which was facilitated by the Ethiopian Embassy in Accra, on the eve of the African Space science conference.
Discussion between the Ethiopian team and Dr. Musheibu Mohammed Alfa, deputy minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation and Mr. Eric Aggrey, research scientist at Ghana Space Science and Technology Institute was made based on a questionnaires prepared by the Ethiopian team in the form of interview. In-depth discussion was made on each question.
According to Dr. Tulu Besha Bedada ,”The scientific visit was primarily intended to learn the Ghanaian and other ALC members’ experiences that they practiced in developing space science, technology and innovations including the development of human resource and research capacity.”
Some countries have successfully gone long miles in the development of space science and technology. Ethiopia is now embarked a new road map to the establishment of sustainable space science and technology programme. It might be worth asking to know, how the government of Ghana is committed in the development of Space Science and technological Innovations. Experiences learned from Ghana are believed to help Ethiopia in planning its space program.
fig2. On the right is Ambassador Gifti Abaseya, Middle Mr. Tefera Waluwa, left Dr. Dianna Djirackor
In the report released by the visiting team, it is explicitly stated that, the Ethiopian team learned how does investing in a space program impact on human capacity building, economic growth, social, technological and political benefits. It is believed that, the direct return of space mission is primarily to accelerate the country’s economic growth at a pace that can potentially impact on standard of living and quality of life of every citizen. Equally, as a space program provides sensitive information, investment in a space will help a nation to secure its sovereignty. Another essential benefit that can be reaped from a space program is to bring sustainable and competitive technological advancement and production of highly educated human capacity. The immediate consequence of technological advancement will help the developing nations to upgrade the rate of the industrial manufacturing production rates, and spatial & non-spatial environmental data production rate and quality.
Although, experience is learned on how does investment in a space program benefit human capacity. The consequence of investing on human capacity building in a space program is believed to bring sustainable development in space science, technology and innovation thereby providing economical, social and political benefits. To bring a long term commitment in creating sustainable, competitive and leading researches in space sciences, technology and innovations, critical mass and best brains are needed. Therefore, it can be concluded that, human capacity building is an essential component towards establishing a space program.
The report finally sums up that, besides learning the present space and technological capacity in Africa and the development of draft African space policy that ought to meet the international space policy and law. It is apparent that the present capacity of the ALC members (Algeria, Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, and Egypt) in space and technology and their ongoing and near future space science projects. Knowing the capacity of the African leading countries in space science will help Ethiopia to devise its space strategic plans, policy, law and regulations that can potentially interest the ALC members to liaison with the future Ethiopian space program.
Please follow the attached link below for full Report
ESSS Information, Education & Communication (IEC) Committee
December 10, 2013