Development in astronomy and space science in Africa

The development of astronomy and space science in Africa has grown significantly over the past few years. These advancements make the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals more achievable, and open up the possibility of new beneficial collaborations.

This month, a team of astronomers, led by Mirjana Pović, from the Entoto Observatory in Ethiopia summarizes the last institutional developments in Africa to develop astronomy and space science and how these efforts contribute to UN Sustainable Development Goals in Africa. The article is published as a comment in the journal Nature Astronomy.

The article may be read online here:

Pović, M. et al. (2018) Development in astronomy and space science in Africa. Nature Astronomy.


Call for AFIPS workshops proposals

Evaluation in progress – Decision will be posted on the 28th of July, 2018

Lire la version française.

The objective of this call for proposals is to strengthen the African vision for developing Planetary and Space Sciences at the local, national, or regional scale. Proposals are invited for the organization of two 4-day workshops in 2018, to involve African researchers and international participants. The two workshops will be financially supported by the European Association of Geochemistry and Geochemical Society.

The deadline for submission of proposals is extended to June, 10th, 2018.

Download the text of the call for proposal.


Appel à propositions pour des ateliers AFIPS

Evaluation en cours – la décision sera diffusée le 28 Juillet 2018

Read the english version

L’objectif de cet appel à propositions est de renforcer la vision africaine pour le développement des sciences planétaires et spatiales à l’échelle locale, nationale ou régionale. Nous invitons à soumettre des propositions pour l’organisation de deux ateliers de 4 jours en 2018, impliquant des chercheurs africains et des participants internationaux. Les deux ateliers seront soutenus financièrement par l’Association Européenne de Géochimie et la Geochemical Society.

La date limite pour la soumission des propositions est étendu au 10 Juin 2018.

Télécharger l’appel à propositions.


The Cadi Ayyad University (Marrakech) officially endorses the AFIPS

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The Cadi Ayyad University (UCA) has officially announced its support for the AFIPS Initiative through a letter of endorsement from its president Prof. Abdellatif Miraoui.

The UCA is very active at the African scale in the sciences of the Universe. It hosts in particular a very dynamic astronomical observatory (Observatory of Oukaimeden, in the Altas Mountains) led by our colleague Prof. Zouhair BENKHALDOUN, who is also a membe of the AFIPS.

Oukaimeden Observatory (Cadi Ayyad University)

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Call for participation to the Pan African STEM Video Game Challenge 2018

The Africa Initiative for Planetary and Spaces Sciences (AFIPS) and the Pan African STEM Video Game challenge 2018 have decided to join forces to engage African students with STEM (Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Planetary and space scientists across the world are invited to contribute to this event that will take place in Africa.
Continue reading “Call for participation to the Pan African STEM Video Game Challenge 2018”

Atlas Dark Sky – A dark sky reserve in Morocco

The Astronomical Observatory of the Oukaimeden is leading a citizen project of great importance. This project, named “Atlas Dark Sky” consists in creating an reserve of dark sky covering a large territory including the Toubkal National Park in Morocco. An International Dark Sky Reserve, as defined by the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA), is a territory that has a starry sky of exceptional quality and is protected for scientific, educational or culture purposes, as well as for the purpose of nature preservation.

This project has several partners in Morocco, Canada, U.S.A, Spain, and France. The Africa Initiative for Planetary and Space Science is a partner of this project.

On the 8th of Mars 2018, the first workshop about this project took place at Tanhaout, Morocco.

More information (in french) may be found on the flyer for the March, 8th workshop here.

L’Université Cadi Ayyad (Marrakech) rejoint officiellement l’AFIPS

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L’université Cadi Ayyad (UCA) vient d’acter officiellement son soutien à l’Initiative AFIPS à travers une lettre de son président le Pr. Abdellatif Miraoui.

L’université Cadi Ayyad est très active à l’échelle Africaine dans les sciences de l’Univers. Elle abrite en particulier un observatoire astronomique très dynamique dirigé par notre collègue Prof. Zouhair BENKHALDOUN, qui est aussi membre de l’AFIPS.

Observatoire de l’Oukaimeden (Université Cadi Ayyad)

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The Hassan II University of Casablanca has endorsed the Africa Initiative for Planetary and Space Sciences

The Hassan II University of Casablanca has now made official its commitment to support the development of Planetary and Space Sciences in Africa. The Hassan II University, and particularly the GAIA Laboratory (Géosciences appliquées à l’ingénierie de l’aménagement), run by the Prof. Hasnaa Chennaoui-Aoudjehane, has been active in the studies of meteorites and impact craters in Morocco since many years. The members of this laboratory make also very regular actions for the promotion of planetary sciences to the public, such as conferences, talks in the media and articles in popular science journals (e.g., recent article about a unique impact structure in Morocco, “What a Moroccan crater reveals about a rare double whammy from the skies“, in The Conversation – Africa). The Hassan II university is also at the origin of the introduction of dedicated curricula in Planetary sciences in the national scale. Continue reading “The Hassan II University of Casablanca has endorsed the Africa Initiative for Planetary and Space Sciences”

Portraits – Mayssa El Yazidi, 25 ans, Tunisie


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Le développement de la recherche scientifique dans le domaine des sciences des Planètes et de l’Espace en Afrique repose en grande partie sur quelques individus qui consacrent leur vie à cet objectif, avec passion. L’Initiative Africaine pour les Sciences des Planètes et de l’Espace, qui a suscité un intérêt international, souhaite donner à ces hommes et ses femmes l’occasion de les rendre plus visibles en partageant leurs expériences sur internet.

Nous donnons la parole aujourd’hui à Mayssa El yazidi, une jeune femme Tunisienne, passionnée par l’Astronomie, et la planète Mars. Mayssa a accepté de répondre à quelques questions, dont les réponses sont retranscrites ici. Nous espérons que cet échange sera source d’encouragement pour tous les jeunes qui se passionnent pour les recherches dans ce domaine.

Observation du soleil par les lunettes solaire ( 30.05.2017, Carthage, Tunisie)

Continue reading “Portraits – Mayssa El Yazidi, 25 ans, Tunisie”