ADDIS ABABA (AA) – The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA) has said it would provide assistance to various institutions in Ethiopia in the areas of science and engineering.
The assertion came at a meeting between visiting NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom at the conclusion of the U.S. official’s weeklong visit to Ethiopia.
“Most of the discussion was about collaboration between NASA and various institutions here in Ethiopia, particularly in the science arena,” Bolden told reporters following the closed-door meeting with Adhanom.
“We talked about assisting in the operation of two new telescopes at Entoto Hills, the northern suburb of capital Addis Ababa, where the Ethiopian Space Science Observatory is located,” he said.
The talks also touched on the possibility of NASA providing scholarships to Ethiopian students, he added.
Bolden did not, however, specify the duration of the proposed scholarships, the number of Ethiopian students who would benefit from them, or when they would become available.
Scholarships would be granted, Bolden said, through NASA’s recently-instituted international internships program.
“The continent of Africa does not have a lot of observatories,” he said.
The meeting also tackled ways the two sides might explore potential partnerships, Bolden said.
“One of the things we are doing is identifying … earth-threatening asteroids. We are hopeful we will be able to begin to work in partnership with the Ethiopian Observatory, so that they can begin to generate some of that data for us,” he said.
Ethiopian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Dina Mufti, who attended the meeting, told journalists that the meeting had covered means of enhancing cooperation in various fields.
“Space technology is of great importance to us,” he said. “It could help in the areas of agriculture, weather forecasting, mapping, vegetation cover and water cover, among others.”
Bolden also held earlier discussions with Ethiopian President Mulatu Teshome, Ethiopian Science and Technology Commission officials and other experts in the field.