The Entoto Observatory and Research Centre, which was under the auspices of the Ethiopian Space Science Society was officially handed over to the Ministry of Science and Technology with a view to advancing the role and contribution of space science to the national economy.
Speaking at the handing over ceremony last Saturday, Sate Minister of Science and Technology Dr. Eng Getahun Mekuria underlined that Ethiopia's prospects for increased competitiveness and economic development greatly rely on science and technology.
The government broad development mandate can ultimately be achieved only if Ethiopia takes further steps towards knowledge based economic development, in which science and technology, information and learning are placed as centerpiece.
According to the State Minister, taking over the Centre is timely for the Ministry as it exerts utmost efforts in strengthening the institutional capacity aimed at conducting research and expanding education in prioritized areas as well as setting to enhance space science and technology at national and international level.
Society Patron and Centre Board Chairperson Tefera Walwa noted that the Centre would serve as national and regional centre of excellence for space science and technology related disciplines such as astronomy, astrophysics, space science, geodesy and remote sensing.
“The Centre has offered unique opportunity for the next generation of Ethiopian scientists to pursue advanced studies in the sector,” he added.
For more and advanced intervention of the space science in the national development, Tefera said that the Council and Centre board have decided to officially transfer the centre to the Ministry.
According to Tefera, though there is a growing understanding of the relevance of space science among public universities and donors, limited financial support is posing a threat for the realization of centre's short and medium term strategic goals.
Tefera expressed hope that if the government of Ethiopia applies the space science in a comprehensive manner, the nation would launch satellites in shorter time possible.
He attributed the matchless support and contribution for the establishment, installation of state-of-the art appliances and furbishing of the Centre to Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Ali Al -Amoudi.
Centre Director Dr. Solomon Belay on his part said that the transfer of the Centre to the Ministry will certainly widen the duties of the centre and enable it to lead the space science programme nationwide.
BY MENGISTEAB TESHOME