The focus of the first meeting will be on business-related matters; objectives include:
- Bringing together the key players in astronomy in Africa, in order to get better organized around the development of the field and to enable the coordination of available skills and resources;
- Discussing strategic, policy, and governance issues related to Astronomy in Africa;
- Interacting with people outside Africa in order to showcase the potential of Astronomy in Africa;
- Re-launching the African Astronomical Society (AfAS);
- Establishing an AfAS Secretariat with clear responsibilities.
The focus of the second meeting will centre around scientific research; objectives include:
- Sharing the scientific research being conducted across Africa and stimulate research collaborations within the continent;
- Interacting with researchers outside Africa, in order to promote new academic collaborations and to enhance existing ones.
The following groups of people are encouraged to register for the Conference:
- Astronomers based in Africa;
- Astronomers from the African diaspora;
- Astronomers from around the world willing to collaborate with African astronomers;
- Astronomy instrumentation scientists and engineers;
- Astronomy educators and communicators;
- Data scientists and ICT professionals related to all the above groups;
- Students related to all the above groups;
- Amateur Astronomers related to all the above groups;
- Relevant government officials;
- Funding agencies;
- Relevant industry partners;
- Individuals who have been involved in the African Astronomical Society (AfAS) before.
- The Business Meeting will consist of invited talks, panel discussions, and working sessions. Deliberations will centre around the establishment of AfAS, including work on the constitution and activity roadmap of the society. See draft programme here.
- The Science Meeting will comprise a series of invited and contributed talks, as well as posters. Interactive networking sessions will aim to stimulate conversations and scientific collaborations through conferences, flash talks and working/hack sessions. Topics will include issues related to open science and free shared data resources in astronomy.
Expected outcomes for the Business Meeting are the following:
- Establishing a clear vision, mandates and plan for AfAS, as well as finalizing a renewed constitution for the society.
- Re-launching AfAS with a new executive committee in place.
- Planing for the establishment of an AfAS Secretariat to carry out the society’s mandates and operations.
- Raising awareness among high level government officials and policy makers regarding Astronomy in Africa and its potential for growth.
Expected outcomes for the Science Meeting are the following:
- Raising awareness of astronomical research activities in Africa both by Africans and potential international collaborators.
- Establishing new collaborations in the fields of Astronomy and related big data research both within Africa and at international level.
- 25-26 March 2019
- Cape Town, South Africa
The first meeting will be held at the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) in Cape Town, South Africa, given the strength of that country’s commitments to Astronomy in Africa, as well as the strong support at government level, with the potential availability of funds for the meeting.
- October 2019
- Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
The second meeting will be held in Ethiopia, given the strength of that country’s commitments to Astronomy in Africa, the strong support at government level, and the fact that Ethiopia will be hosting an IAU Symposium (356) from 7-11 October 2019, which will be an ideal event for the meeting to coincide with.
Space & Astronomy day: Cape Town
- 24 March 2019, Sunday,
- Cape Town, South Africa
Given the many overlaps between the two sectors, we are bringing the astronomy and space communities together for an informal day of learning and interaction, a day before the business meeting. Registration for this meeting is now open (separate from the Business meeting registration)