The International Astronomical Union (IAU) is to open its East Africa regional office in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Fortune reported.
The office, also known as the Regional Office of Astronomical Development (ROAD), comprises of the Ministry of Science & Technology, the Ministry of Education (MoE), the Ethiopian Space Science Society (ESSS) and Addis Ababa University (AAU).
An agreement was signed on Friday, January 10, 2014, at the Ellili International Hotel. The agreement, signed by Demitu Hambisa, minister of Science & Technology, and Piero Benvenuti, the assistant secretary general of the IAU.
The IAU will support the ROAD by soliciting funds and helping it to gain international and continental recognition by providing updates on its progress, according to Fortune.
The agreement is a significant milestone for the growth and development of astronomy in East Africa, says Kevin Govender, director of the Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) – an international office under the IAU.
The IAU works to promote astronomical education and research in developing countries through its Program Groups. These include the International Schools for Young Astronomers (ISYA), Teaching for Astronomy Development (TAD) and the World Wide Development of Astronomy (WWDA).