A two week international West African Summer School for Young Astronomers (WAISSYA)2019, organised to train West African Universities undergraduate and graduate students in the area of Astronomy and Space Technology Applications, by the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA)-Centre for Basic Space Science, University of Nigeria, Nsukka,(UNN) ends on Friday last week in Abuja.
It was the 4th edition in series, tagged: “Empowering Young Africans in Becoming Scientific Leaders” took a centre stage at Senator,Boroffice Ajayi Conference Hall, Obasanjo Space Centre, Abuja, where over 60 undergraduate and postgraduate students were trained in various field of Astronomy and Space Technology by 13 foreign instructors.
The Summer School fully sponsored by NASRDA-Centre for Basic Space Science, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), Unversity of Toronto, Dunlap Institutes for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Development for Astronomy for Africa,(DARA) International Astronomical Union, Las Cumbre Observator, Open Astronomy Schools, The Royal Society, AAPT Physics Education and International Centre for Theoerical Physics. With the 13 instructors are Dr. Jielai Zhang co-taught an interactive lesson on cosmology, co-led the Instructor Workshop Week, co-led the group
teaching project, and facilitated the inquiry activity, Dr. Bernard Duah Asabere co-taught an interactive lesson on galaxies, and facilitated the inquiry activity, Dr. Daniel Okoh co-taught an interactive lesson on stars, and facilitated the inquiry activity, Dr.
Bop Cheikh co-taught an interactive lesson on stars, co-led the group teaching project, and facilitated the inquiry activity, Dr. Finbarr
Odoh taught the lesson on Cultural Astronomy, co-taught an interactive lesson on cosmology, co-led the group teaching project, and facilitated the inquiry activity.
Others are Dr. Duy Nguyen facilitated the inquiry activity, Dr. James Chibueze taught an interactive lesson on radio astronomy and co-led the post-graduate stream, Dr. Patrice Okouma co-led the post-graduate Stream, Margaret Ikape co-taught an interactive lesson on cosmology, led the Women in Science lunch, and facilitated the inquiry activity, Sarah Abotsi-Masters co-taught an interactive lesson on exoplanets, co-taught an interactive lesson on Science Communication, and facilitated the inquiry activity, Esaenwi Sudum co-taught an interactive lesson on exoplanets, and facilitated the inquiry activity, Kevin Govender, Director of the Office of Astronomy for Development in Cape Town, led discussions about Vision for the Future of astronomy in Africa.
Declaring the Summer School was opened the NASRDA Acting Director General, Mr Jonathan Angulu, represented by Dr Olufemi Agboola, Director Space Applications, said that the Agency through the office of the Astronomical Union-Office of West African Astronomy for Development (WAROAD), International had succeeded in training brilliant students for the development of the country.
Dr Olufemi, added that the Agency have had a great impacts on the milestone to build a strong synergy between the International community including its collaborator within the country, he noted that development in space technology can naturally thrives.
He maintained that quite numbers of research being carried out by our activity centres have been recommended to various government agencies across the country to tackle fraud and others social vices in their organisations.
He maintained. He encourage the students to utilised knowledge gathered during Summer School training judiciously, also, make it as as parts of academic progress in their lives, promised that the Agency will not relent in its efforts in bring out the best in Space Technology towards for the betterment of the people and country’s unity.
Responding, the Director Centre for Basic Space Science, University of Nigeria, Nsukka Dr Bonaventure Okere thanked the management for the successfulness of the WAISSYA 2019.
Okere recalled how the Summer School was formed during a conference in Canada, in 2012, the first School he was held at NASRDA headquarters Abuja, in 2013, Nsukka hosted 2015, while the 2017 went to Ghana.The founders were Dr Bonaventure Okere, Director, CBSS University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Dr. Jielai Zhang, University of Australia, Dr. James Chibueze and Dr Dr Linda Strubbe, University of British Columbia, UBC.
Dr Okere revealed that objectives of the Summer School for the Younger ones are to set a professional standard in actualising the visions in technology innovation. Others are: to set youngster of Nigeria as a leading voice in astronomy research and development in the African continent.
He however implored the students not limit the experience gathered at the training to themselves alone urging them to share through group discussion in their Universities in order to create an enduring careers in many ways for themselves.
On the challenges facing astronomy research and development in the country, Dr Okere noted that the centre needs to special fund to position the Nigeria at first in world astronomy map.
In his remark, the Director, Centre for Atmospheric Research Anyigba, kogi State University, Prof. Babatunde Rabiu, said “NASRDA management has done well by establishing the giants’ the centre for Basic Space Science which Gav birth to Centre for Atmospheric Research Anyiba, that are working tirelessly towards the realisation of the Agency’s visions and its mandates at large.
While his speaking Dr Aliyu Shaba, of NASRDA observed that having a better founding and administrative expertise would create a better arena to employ several engineers and other scientists graduates will have right place for employment he noted.
Earlier before the commencement of teaching and learning of the 2019 Summer School activities, the instructors had paid courtesy visit to the University of Abuja, were Prof Ekundayo Oyegoke Ajala, received the team on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor of University, Prof. Abdulrasheed Na’Allah, extolled the team, (NASRDA) on thepositive impacts added to the educational development of institution.
The vice-chancellor who addressed the team at 100 Level Physics Theatre of the University, highlighted the positive impacts of Space Research in the advancement of the nation’s technology that give maximum priority to it, would always win the war against insurgency, environmental hazard, Agricultural revolution among others saying that “Space Research and Innovation” as fundamental of Technology cannot be underestimated in any parts ofthe world.
Prof Ekundayo was impressed with huge population present at the event, saying that with the magnitude, He, believed that Nigerian Universities system has realised that only research that could addressed the problems plaguing the country like a magic wand.
Also in his welcoming address, the acting head of the department Dr George Gala Nyam, said a lot of experimental research that could be acceptable elsewhere has been built and developed in the department.
He added that more and more are expected in order aid excellent research and knowledge transfer among the staff and students.