Forum: African Astronomical Society
Discussion around the establishment of an African Astronomical SocietyBack to Forum List >> Back to Topic List >> VIEW ALL POSTS
Summary and Recording of Skype Conference
Posted Friday, 24 September 2010 By kevin
Modified: Friday, 24 September 2010
Greetings all and thanks to those who joined the skypecon. A brief summary is given below. There was a small software error which caused a short break in the recording but the majority of the conversation was captured. The MP3 files and text exchanged during the skypecon are available at the following links:

First 35 minutes:
Last 33 minutes:
Text exchanged:


Attended by:
Jarita Holbrook (US)
Thebe Medupe (SA)
Bonaventure Okere (Nigeria)
Pius Okeke (Nigeria)
Bosco Oruru (Uganda)
Charles McGruder (US)
Claude Carignan (Canada; Burkina Faso)
Ed Guinan (US; international)
Ernst van Groningen (Sweden; international)
Johnson Urama (Nigeria)
Katrien Kolenberg (Austria; Senegal)
Lawrance Norris (US)
Omar Fikry (Egypt)
Pheneas Nkundabakura (Rwanda)
Solohery Randriamampandry (Madagascar)
Zara Randriamanakoto (Madagascar)
Abiy Tekola (Ethiopia)
Kevin Govender (SA)

In brief:
- Prof Okeke started by giving a brief background to the idea of AfAS and how it came about - basically was conceived during the launch of the African Physical Society in Dakar in January 2010.
- It was decided that the details of the legalisation process should be left to later. The concept of the society needed to first be agreed upon.
- Two very strong opposing views were clear. One was that a continental body should arise naturally following the establishment of regional bodies first (bottom up approach that would involve everyone from the outset). The other was that a continental body should first be formed and that it would assist regional bodies to form (shouldn't wait for regional bodies which could take time or not materialise).
- After discussions it was generally agreed that an African Astronomical Society should in fact be formed in the long term as it would benefit the continent. Only the path to getting there was contentious - some felt it should be launched at the Ouagadougou conference in December, others felt that was too soon and could result in failure if rushed.
- It was generally agreed that a continental body would help to raise funds. However, it needed to be a formal, registered organisation in order to raise funds.
- Some felt launching an AfAS at the Ouagadougou conference would not be representative of all of Africa since it was a science conference in a specific field. Suggestion was made to consider more general conference such as MEARIM II in 2011.
- An offer was made for a face to face discussion meeting in Egypt.
- Final compromise on the way forward which everyone agreed upon was that a "Working Group towards the establishment of AfAS" be launched at the Ouagadougou conference - this group should comprise representatives from as many existing societies/astronomy communities as possible. The group would be tasked with carrying out sufficient consultation and investigation into the legalisation of AfAS. This group should come up with a proposal for the official launch of AfAS at a later time (not necessarily MEARIM but also not necessarily astronomy - could be launched at an African Union meeting for example).
- Discussions should continue on the discussion forum set up at
Power by Simplest Forum - Copyright Ambitionality Software LLC 2008. All rights reserved.
Joomla 1.5 Templates by