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AU-EU Summit 17-18 February 2022: A Science Agenda

The AERAP Africa-Europe Science Collaboration Platform will organise side events at the AU-EU Summit on 14-18 February 2022. The purpose of the meeting will be to promote awareness of the contribution of collaborative research and development as a critical aspect of EU-Africa relations and collaborations, in particular in addressing global challenges together.

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Tuesday, February 15 • 09:00 - 11:00
(Ref 150900) Africa-Europe Agenda for cooperation in Astronomy - convened by African Astronomical Society (AfAS)/EAS/ AERAP

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European Union-African Union Summit, Science and Innovation side events 
14 – 18 February 2022
AfAS-EAS special session 
Session Title: Africa-Europe Agenda for collaboration and cooperation in Astronomy
Date: 15 February 2022                                        
Time: 09:00 (CET) / 10:00 (CAT)
0900 Opening Remarks:
Roger Davies 
President – European Astronomical Society (EAS)
Jamal Mimouni 
President – African Astronomical Society (AfAS)

0905 The Square Kilometre Array (SKA)
Philip Diamond – 
Director-General, Square Kilometre Array Organisation (SKAO)

0915 Radio Astronomy – An African context (MeerKAT, SKA, AVN)
Carla Sharpe – 
African Space Development, Strategist and Policy Specialist, South African
Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO)

0925 The EHT, Africa Millimetre Telescope – Africa-EU collaboration
Michael Backes – 
Associate Professor & Head of H.E.S.S. Research Unit, University of Namibia

0935 Joint Institute for Very Long Baseline Interferometry European Research Infrastructure
Consortium (JIVE)
Francisco Colomer – 
Director, Joint Institute for VLBI ERIC (JIVE)

0945 The High Energy Stereoscopic System (H.E.S.S)
Stefan Wagner, 
Director, H.E.S.S

0955 The European Southern Observatory
Xavier Barcons – 
Director General, European Southern Observatory (ESO)

1005 Optical Astronomy in Africa, the African Integrated Observation System (AIOS), and the
intelligent observatory at the SAAO
David Buckley – 
Darragh O'Donoghue Astronomer, South African Astronomical Observatory

1015 The European Space Agency
Fabio Favata 
Head of Science Directorate strategy, planning, and coordination office,
European Space Agency (ESA)

1025 Astronomy for Development
Vanessa McBride 
Astronomer, International Astronomical Union - Office of Astronomy for
Development (IAU-OAD)

1035 Astronet - A comprehensive long-term planning for the development of European astronomy
Colin Vincent – 
Board Chair, Astronet

1045 Development in Africa with Radio Astronomy (DARA)
Melvin Hoare – 
Professor, University of Leeds

1055 South Africa’s contribution to the development of astronomy in Africa and current key Africa-
EU collaborations in Astronomy and how these can be enhanced
Takalani Nemaungani – 
Acting Chief Director for Astronomy, South African Department of
Science and Innovation (DSI)

1105 The Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) is the next generation ground-based observatory for gamma-ray astronomy at very-high energies.
Corrado Perna – 
INAF, Italy

1107 Questions and Panel discussion (28 minutes)
Jamal Mimouni – Chair
Roger Davies – Chair
• Facilities and infrastructure
• Digital access in Africa
• Education and Training
• Economic Development
• Mobility

Africa and Europe have long had a fruitful relationship, especially through the Africa-EU cooperation agreements. It is through this Africa-EU partnership that work and engagement in political and policy dialogues between Africa and Europe have continued over the years. The partnership was established in 2000 at the first African Union (AU)-EU Summit in Cairo. It is guided by the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES), adopted at the 2nd AU-EU Summit in Lisbon in 2007.
Africa has pursued political and economic integration at a continental level since the start of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in 1963 and the AU in 2002. At the continental level, institutions, policies and initiatives have been established in areas that are of increasing importance for Africa’s development, as well as being of interest to the EU.

Motivated by the vision of the JAES to provide for future relations between Africa and the EU, by setting out the overarching political framework and seeking to tackle issues of common concern together, the African Astronomical Society (AfAS) and the European Astronomical Society (EAS) have joined forces by organising this session to bring together involvement from major players in Astronomy in both Africa and Europe. These include members from the various sectors of society including policymakers, decision-makers, researchers, and academia, and in turn, deepen and strengthen the relationship between Africa and the EU countries.
Astronomy has developed quite rapidly over the years globally, and a lot of that success can be attributed to the increase in collaborations between various organisations and countries. There are several astronomy infrastructure projects, instruments and training programmes that are of interest to communities in both Africa and the EU and the need for discussions and strengthened collaborations is one way to ensure sustainable development and solutions.

This session offers an opportunity for interactions between existing and potential Africa-EU collaborators to stimulate and explore mutually beneficial opportunities that may arise between Africa and Europe, as well as the opportunity to promote sustained collaborations between partners from the European and African countries and cultivate the expertise that forms a core component of knowledge-based economies. The session also aims at exploring wider socioeconomic benefit implications from such collaborations and efforts by engaging in discussions and projects that include building bridges with industry, government and across academic disciplines and engaging society.

The discussions are aimed at encouraging collaborative research and innovation in astronomy and related sciences by touching on themes such as astronomy for development and outreach & education programmes, how science can play a role in contributing to society and addressing shared global challenges and how these collaborations can help achieve the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

The discussions and presentations will focus on:
  • Current and planned projects and initiatives to grow and connect the astronomical community in both Africa and Europe in the fields of optical astronomy and radio astronomy
  • Flagship projects and involvement of participating stakeholders in science and outreach/education programmes for the development of society
  • Strengthening EU-Africa research collaborations through joint research projects, observations, MSc/PhD student's joint supervisions, joint proposals, etc.

To view the exact program please reffer to the attached document. 

Session organiser(s):
Charles Takalana
African Astronomica

avatar for Xavier Barcons

Xavier Barcons

Director-Genera, ESO
 Xavier Barcons (MA U Barcelona 1981, PhD U Cantabria 1985) is CSIC Research Professor since 2002. First Director (1995-1999) of the Instituto de Física de Cantabria, spent several research periods at the Institute of Astronomy (Cambridge UK). Astronomy research on Active Galaxies... Read More →
avatar for Takalani Nemaungani

Takalani Nemaungani

Chief Director, Department of Science and Innovation, South Africa
Takalani Nemaungani is currently the Chief Director for the Astronomy portfolio at the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) in South Africa – Astronomy is a flagship project receiving the single largest investment in the budget within the DSI. Trained as an engineer from Wits... Read More →
avatar for Francisco Colomer

Francisco Colomer

Director, Joint Institute for VLBI ERIC
Francisco (Paco) Colomer (Valencia, 1966) is director of JIVE, the Joint Institute for VLBI, a European Research Infrastructure hosted by ASTRON/NWO in Dwingeloo (the Netherlands). Colomer earned his PhD in astrophysics by Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden) on the study of... Read More →
avatar for Charles Takalana

Charles Takalana

Head of Secretariat (AfAS) & Co-Chair: IAU-GA2024 National Organising Committee, African Astronomical Society (AfAS)
Charles Mpho Takalana completed his PhD in physics, focusing on Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in December 2020. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Johannesburg in South Africa. Charles currently works at the African... Read More →
avatar for Carla Sharpe

Carla Sharpe

Africa Programme Manager, SARAO
Carla has been with the South African Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project for several years. The SKA is an international effort to build the world’s largest radio telescope, the sheer scale of the SKA represents a huge leap forward in engineering, technology and research & development... Read More →
avatar for Jamal Mimouni

Jamal Mimouni

Faculty member, University of Constantine1 and CERIST
Jamal Mimouni is an Algerian astrophysicist, who received his higher education partly in Algeria (B. Sc. in Theoretical Physics in 1977 from Algiers University) and partly in the States (Ph. D. in Particle Physics in 1985 from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia). He is also... Read More →
avatar for Vanessa McBride

Vanessa McBride

Astronomer, Office of Astronomy for Development
Dr Vanessa McBride is an astronomer at the Office of Astronomy for Development, where she works towards bridging the gap between the community of professional astronomers and the development work.  She is co-chair of the National Organising Committee of the IAU’s General Assembly... Read More →
avatar for Roger Davies

Roger Davies

President, European Astronomical Society - EAS
Roger Davie is the Philip Wetton Professor and Director of the Hintze Centre for Astrophysical Surveys at the University of Oxford.   He read Physics at University College London and started research working on galaxy dynamics in Cambridge in the 1970s after which he moved to California... Read More →
avatar for Philip Diamond

Philip Diamond

Director Genral, Square Kilometre Array Organisation (SKAO)
Professor Philip Diamond is the Director-General of the SKAO (SKA Observatory). He was appointed to this position in October 2012 and is leading the team designing and constructing the SKA, which, when completed, will be the largest scientific project on Earth.From 2010 – 2012 he... Read More →
avatar for Stefan Wagner

Stefan Wagner

Director, H.E.S.S

David Buckley

Darragh O'Donoghue Astronomer, South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO)
avatar for Fabio Favata

Fabio Favata

Head of Science Directorate strategy, planning, and coordination office, European Space Agency (ESA)
Professor Philip Diamond is the Director-General of the SKAO (SKA Observatory). He was appointed to this position in October 2012 and is leading the team designing and constructing the SKA, which, when completed, will be the largest scientific project on Earth.From 2010 – 2012 he... Read More →
avatar for Colin Vincent

Colin Vincent

Board Chair, Astronet
Chair Astronet Board, Workpackage Leader for Astronet European Science Vision and Infrastructure Roadmap. Associate Director, Astronomy, STFC-UKRI responsible for strategy, funding and management of UK Astronomy programme for the UK's primary research funding body Chair SKA Finance... Read More →
avatar for Melvin Hoare

Melvin Hoare

Professor,, University of Leeds
Melvin Hoare is Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Leeds, UK. After obtaining a PhD in Astrophysics at University College London, he carried out research at the University of Oxford, UK and Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Germany. Specializing in the study of how massive... Read More →
avatar for Inma Domínguez

Inma Domínguez

Secretary of the Council, European Astronomical Society - EAS
 Secretary of the Council of the European Astronomical Society. Coordinator of Astrophysics at the Spanish Research Agency. Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Granada (UGR). Inma has worked on supernovae since her doctoral thesis (University of Barcelona... Read More →
avatar for Michael Backes

Michael Backes

Associate Professor & Co-PI Africa Millimetre Telescope, University of Namibia
Prof. Michael Backes is Associate Professor, Head of the Namibian H.E.S.S. group, and of astrophysics at the University of Namibia (UNAM), as well as Extraordinary Associate Professor at North-West University (South Africa) and Academic Visitor at the University of Oxford (UK). He... Read More →
avatar for Corrado Perna

Corrado Perna

Senior Policy Officer, Italian National Institute for Astrophysics
Corrado Perna is a Senior Policy Officer from the Italian National Institute for Astrophysics. He played a leading role in promoting the Italy’s founding involvement in the establishment of the XXI century global large scale research Astrophysics facilities such as SKA, CTA and... Read More →

Tuesday February 15, 2022 09:00 - 11:00 CET