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Ahmed Ammar

Ahmed Ammar holds a Ph.D. in physics, is an assistant professor at Carthage University (Tunisia), where he teaches computer science and computational physics. He is also member of steering committee and the scientific director of the Astronomical Society of Tunisia.

Ahmed Ammar is a member of the Laboratory of Atomic Molecular Spectroscopy and Applications at the Department of Physics; Faculty of Sciences of Tunis; University of Tunis El Manar. His research focuses on space weather in general and more specifically on the study of the effects of terrestrial and extraterrestrial events on the physical properties of the lower region of the Earth’s ionosphere. He is a member of several research groups in this field such as the International Space Weather Initiative (ISWI), the Groupe de Recherche en G ophysique Europe Afrique (GIRGEA) and he is also a delegate of the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) in Tunisia. He is also interested in the popularization of astronomy in Tunisia through his activities with the Astronomical Society of Tunisia and with Tunisian universities and regional/international astronomy organizations.


Mr Alemiye Mamo is an Astronomer and science communicator by profession. He is among the few individuals who laid the foundation for space Science development in Ethiopia. Mr Alemiye is currently working as coordinator of East Africa Regional Office of Astronomy for Development (EA-ROAD), National outreach coordinator (NOC) and researcher at Ethiopian Space science and technology institute (ESSTI) based in Ethiopia.  Mr Alemiye has been working in the development of astronomy and space science in Ethiopia for the past two decades. He is one of the founders of the Ethiopian Space Science Society (ESSS) and a contributor in the establishment of Entoto Observatory which is now upgraded to ESSTI.

Claudio Moisés Paulo

Claudio Moisés Paulo was born on 30/08/1979 in the Central Zone of Mozambique in a city called Beira. Under his mother’s education with not good economical conditions, he did the primary and secondary studies in schools at Beira between 1986-1995. In 1996, He went to the Capital City of the country to meet his father and ended up staying there and continuing his studies where conclude the secondary and high school level in 1997. Between 1998-2003, he got an Honours degree in Physics with Weather Forecast in the first University of the country called Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (UEM) where in early 2004 he was employed as a junior lecturer. From 2007 up to date he is working in order to push young people in the country into the field of Astronomy and related areas. During this period he got Honours, MSc and PhD degrees in Astronomy in South Africa. To secure the presence of astronomy activities in Mozambique he studied jumping around Mozambique and South Africa using his own resources which brought good results for the country. From Claudio’s work, the country via the UEM has a very good environment for the Development of Astronomy. He is now an Assistant Professor in Astronomy, the coordinator of the Astronomy, Space Science and Artificial Intelligence group at UEM and is securing the study of many students at the postgraduate level out of the country.

Naomi Asabre Frimpong

Research scientist at the Ghana Space Science and Technology Institute, Ghana. Her PhD research was on understanding the evolution of massive young stellar objects using complex organic molecules such as methanol and methyl cyanide at the University of Manchester, Jodrell Bank Center For Astrophysics with supervision from Prof Gary Fuller. She was was part of the first batch of advanced students sponsored by DARA (Development of Africa through Radio Astronomy) funded by the Newton Fund to study in the UK. She is currently continuing her research into the Astrochemistry of Massive Young Stellar Objects using observation, theoretical and computational analysis at Ghana Space Science and Technology Institute/ Ghana Radio Astronomy Observatory. She is a tutor and facilitator for the ongoing DARA Basic training at the Ghana Radio Astronomy Observatory. She is currently the administrative secretary of the astronomy outreach program PRAGSAG funded by the OAD. She is very active in outreach to young people especially girls and in mentoring other African students

Naomi believes Africa is ripe to take a bold step into being a contributing partner in astronomy research. She is a motivated and hardworking scientist who is eager to put Africa on the scientific map using her research work and her outreach activities. She is always ready to speak up and about Astronomy and

James Chibueze

James Chibueze did his Bachelor of Science in Physics (First Class) and Master of Science (Astrophysics) at the Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of Nigeria. He then proceeded to Japan for his PhD (Radio Astronomy and Astrophysics) at Kagoshima University, Kagoshima, Japan (PhD received 25 March 2013) under the Japanese Government MEXT scholarship. 

His research is mainly focused on the high-resolution study of massive star formation processes from their earliest evolutionary stages. James joined East-Asia ALMA Regional Centre at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) as Project Research Fellow in 2013 and later in 2014 was appointed a Project Assistant Professor. In 2015, he moved to the University of Nigeria as a Lecturer and 2 years later (January 2017) moved to South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) formerly known as Square Kilometre Array (SKA) South Africa as a VLBI Commissioning Scientist. In 2019, he join North-West University as an Associate Professor and now a full Professor of Astrophysics.

In recent years, James has used the MeerKAT telescope to expand his research horizon to include the study of radio galaxies and galaxy clusters.

Oyirwoth Patrick Abedigamba

Dr. Oyirwoth Patrick Abedigamba is a Senior Lecturer, Department of Physics, Kyambogo University (Uganda). Prior to that, he was a Lecturer and Senior Lecturer at the Department of Physics, North-West University (South Africa).He is a HonoraryLecturer in the Department of Physics, Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Uganda since 2016. 

Oyi as he is commonly known among his current and past students, peers and colleagues, completed his PhDin Astrophysics at North-West University (South Africa) -2016, MScin Astrophysics and Space Science through the National Astrophysics and Space Science Program (NASSP) at the University of Cape Town -2010, BSc –Honours in Astrophysics and Space Science through the National and Astrophysics Program (NASSP) at the University of Cape Town -2008, and his undergraduate studies at Mbarara University of Science and Technology (Uganda) -2007. His research interests lie in the area oftheoretical and observational Astrophysics. He has collaborated actively with researchers in several other disciplines of Physics.

Oyi has served on the South African Institute of Physics (SAIP) local conference committee -2021 and NASSP winter school asa tutor (several occasions) and lecturer for NASSP workshop/program (2019 -2021). He has served on the North-West University Physics Internal and External Program evaluation and Kyambogo University Curriculum Review Committee2022. Oyi has recently developed Astrophysics module/course unit for postgraduate students at Kyambogo University, Uganda. 

Oyi is the instructor for a popular computational method module/course unit at the Physics Department, Kyambogo University (Uganda), as a way of introducing skills needed to handle Astrophysics future research. He has mentored NASSP honours students in Astrophysics research, MScstudents both at North-West University & Mbarara University of Science and Technology and a Postdoctoral Fellow(in Astrophysics).
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Elizabeth Naluminsa

Elizabeth Naluminsa is a postdoctoral fellow on the astronomy operations team of the Southern African Large Telescope. She obtained her Phd researching on the gravitational instability of disk galaxies from the University of Cape Town in 2019. She is originally from Uganda and is Uganda’s  first female astronomer. Her research field is extragalactic star-formation, while her interests and expertise spread to astronomical instrumentation, software development, pipeline building, science engagement/outreach and teaching. With a passion for education and people, her personal mission has always been to “make science attainable, penetrable and relatable to everyone”.

Following an undergraduate degree in physics and education (physics major), she joined the National Astrophysics and Space Science Programme in 2011 for her honours and masters degrees at the University of Cape Town after which she undertook her doctoral research under the South African SARChI bursary of the NRF. Post graduation, she returned to Uganda and worked as a lecturer at Kyambogo University Uganda while doing astronomy outreach to secondary schools, with resources support from the IAU Office of Astronomy for Development and the SALT Collateral Benefits programme. She held the first ever astronomy exhibition at Kyambogo university in 2020. She is at present involve in ongoing efforts by the Space Technology Agency Uganda to take astronomy to schools in the refugee settlements of Uganda, and documenting the indigenous astronomy knowledge of the refugee communities for posterity.

Manasse Mbonye

Professor Manasse Mbonye is a Founding Fellow of the Rwanda Academy of Sciences (RAS) and its current President. He is also a member of the Covid-19 national Science Advisory Group.(SAG). By Training, Dr. Mbonye is a theoretical Astrophysicist and Cosmologist. He completed his Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut, in 1995. Dr. Mbonye has taught Physics at various institutions including the University of Connecticut, University of Michigan, and RIT. He has also worked at NASA (Goddard Space Flight Center). His research is in cosmology (on dynamics of the Universe) and on black holes and he has published extensively in these areas. In 2012, Professor Mbonye returned to Africa. Since then his appointments have included, Ag Rector (National University of Rwanda) and Principal (University of Rwanda, College of Science and Technology). Up to September 2018, Prof. Mbonye has also been the Executive Secretary of Rwanda’s National Council for Science and Technology, (NCST). During Mbonye’s tenure, NCST instituted a major review of Rwanda’s Science, Technology, Research and Innovation (STRI) policy. Further, the National Research and Innovation Agenda (NRIA) was constructed, along with its implementation enabler, the National Research and Innovation Fund (NRIF) framework. Rwanda launched the NRIF in June 2018. Prof. Mbonye has served on the East African Science and Technology Commission (EASTCO) Board of Directors as its Rapporteur (2017-2018). He has also been Chairman of the Rwanda Energy Group (REG), Rwanda’s sole electric energy source (2015-2018). Prof. Mbonye continues to do research and supervise

Maram Kaire

Systems engineer and astronomer, Knight of the National Order of the Lion (The Order of the Lion is Senegal’s highest distinction), Maram KAIRE has become, since May 14, 2021, the 1st Senegalese to have his name attributed to an object of the Solar System with the designation of the asteroid (35462) 1998 DW23 now called (35462) Maramkaire by the International Astronomical Union. In 2021, he also entered the prestigious ranking of “AfricanDOers, the TOP 500 of the most influential Africans in the world” by TROPICS Magazine (Johannesburg, South Africa). 

Co-founder and current President of the Senegalese Association for the Promotion of Astronomy (ASPA), He is presented by the famous magazine CIEL & ESPACE and radio RFI as being the engine of the development of Astronomy and space sciences in Senegal. 
In 2018, Maram KAIRE ensured the Technical Coordination of an important NASA mission carried out in Senegal to observe a stellar occultation by the asteroid ARROKOTH. This activity, as part of the NEW HORIZONS space mission which flew over the planet PLUTON, saw the collaboration of around forty American and French astrophysicists with Senegalese scientists. 

In 2020 then 2021, NASA renews its confidence in it through two new highly important missions to observe stellar occultation by the Trojan asteroids POLYMELE and ORUS, two of the 7 targets that the space probe LUCY will visit between 2027 and 2033. 

Maram KAIRE was appointed, in March 2020, National Astronomy Education Coordinator (NAEC) for Senegal by the International Astronomical Union (IAU), the organization that coordinates the work of astronomers and astrophysicists around the world with the mission to help to develop astronomy in the Senegalese education system. 

Initiator of many astronomy development projects such as the SPACEBUS concept (the largest astronomy promotion activity ever organized in Africa), founding member of the African Astronomical Society (AFAS), He is also a member of the Executive Committee AFIPS (Africa Initiative for Planetary and Space Sciences) which works to develop planetary and space sciences on the African continent. 

Between 2015 and 2019, he was Technical Advisor to the Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, in charge of the Promotion and Popularization of Scientific Culture. Focal point of the Ministry on issues related to space, he had to lead partnership projects with the CNES (Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales de France) and ARIANEGROUP (Operator of the Ariane rocket) for the development of university courses in science and the installation of a center for the assembly, integration and testing of microsatellites in Senegal. 

A true scientific popularizer in the service of the development of astronomy and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), he was awarded a grant, in 2017, from the IVLP program (International Visitor Leadership Program) of the United States Department of State in the field of “science and technology education for young people”. 
He is Managing Director of AFRICASPACE, a company specializing in strategic support for African states in the development and implementation of their space policy.


Mirjana Pović is a Serbian-Spanish astrophysicist, working as an assistant professor at the Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute (ESSTI), an associate researcher at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía in Spain, and as an honorary lecturer at Mbarara University of Science and Technology in Uganda. She obtained her PhD in astrophysics in 2010 from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (Spain). Her main research interests are galaxy formation and evolution, in particular nuclear activity in galaxies, star formation, morphological classification of galaxies, and galaxy clusters. In addition, over more than 10 years, she worked on development in astronomy, science, and education in different parts of Africa, through different projects and initiatives related to research collaborations, education, institutional development, human capacity building, policy development, and women in science. She is a current secretary of the IAU Division C on Education, Outreach and Heritage, African Astronomical Society Science Committee member, co-convener of the Astrophysics and Cosmology Working Group under the African Strategy for Fundamental and Applied Physics, and founder of the African Network of Women in Astronomy. She received several awards and recognitions for her scientific achievements and contribution to society, in particular for her work in Africa, including the 2018 inaugural Nature Research Award for Inspiring Science, and the 2021 inaugural European Astronomical Society Jocelyn Bell Burnell Inspiration Medal. She believes that through education, science, and technology we can combat poverty in the long term and make our world to be a better place for everyone in the future, regardless of where the children are born.

Noorali Tayabali Jiwaji

Dr Jiwaji is an experimental Physicist, who graduated in Physics and Mathematics with Education from the University of Dar es Salaam and a Master’s and PhD in Environmental Physics from the same University.  Currently, he is the Astronomy Consultant for the Open University of Tanzania and teaches Physics at the Marian University College.  He is a self-developed astronomer after attending the School for Young Astronomers in 1977 in Nsukka, Nigeria under the directorship of renowned radio astronomer Dr Okoye after which he became the IAU liaison for Commission 46 for Astronomy Education and Development.  Dr Jiwaji started as an avid Astronomy communicator and wrote in newspapers and magazines in both English as well as in the local Kiswahili language, and doing regular school and public outreach with popular lectures and naked eye and telescope stargazing.  He ran the year-long IYA2009 celebrations in Tanzania with pan-national activities to promote Astronomy including the distribution of more than 200 Galileoscopes to schools.  Currently, he is the IAU National Outreach Coordinator [NOC] and more recently, the IAU Astronomy Education Coordinator [NAEC] for Tanzania.  He is also the Tanzania representative for the IAU East Africa Regional Office for Astronomy Development (EA-ROAD). He is the coordinator of the Network of Astronomy Schools Education (NASE) in Tanzania through whom he has conducted Astronomy for school teachers with stress on using hands-on activities using locally made demonstrations.  He has led Dark Skies preservation efforts in Tanzania to use the pristine night skies as an added Astrotourism attraction to the country’s nature and wildlife tourism. This year Dr Jiwaji has won an IAU Office for Astronomy Development (OAD) grant to formalize Astrotourism training by developing an Astrotourism training curriculum that can be used to train professionals as well as entrepreneurial Astrotourguides.  He has taught Astronomy courses in undergraduate programs and co-supervised Astrophysics Masters dissertation by introducing co-supervision with international specialists as a way of increasing local Astrophysics capacity. His research fields include Extragalactic Astronomy, Light pollution, Astrotourism development, and Astronomy Education.  Dr Jiwaji is currently leading the Open University of Tanzania’s collaboration with the Next Generation Event Horizon Telescope (NextGen EHT) Project to use the Kilimanjaro Saddle as a suitable location and site in the international millimeter radio interferometry network for blackhole observation and monitoring. Dr Jiwaji was a member of the African Union Space Working Group (AUSWG) that developed the African Space Policy and African Space Strategy. 

Sinenhlanhla Precious Sikhosana

Dr Sinenhlanhla Precious Sikhosana is a second-year South African Radio Astronomy postdoctoral fellow at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Astrophysics Research Centre (ARC). Her research interests include studying non-thermal astrophysical processes and magnetic fields in galaxy clusters. Her research involves collecting data from multiple multi-wavelength telescopes, such as MeerKAT, GMRT, VLA, Chandra, and SALT.

In her undergrad years, she received a scholarship for being amongst the top 10 African female achievers in her college for three consecutive years. She has also received numerous awards in her postgrad career. Some awards include; UKZN’s Wonder Women in Science in 2017, the Department of Science & Technology TATA African Women in Science Doctoral Scholarship in 2018 and the Lo’real-UNESCO For Women In Science research grant in 2019. She was amongst the top 20 young scientists selected to represent South Africa at the 69th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in Germany in 2019. She was part of the South African Young Academy of Science’s blog team in 2020.

Dr Sikhosana is passionate about empowering the youth through education. Hence, she is part of UKZN’s Astrophysics Research Centre outreach committee. She has participated in various educational outreach programs in partnership with UKZN’s PR office. She was recently elected as the Astrophysics Research Centre’s diversity and inclusion committee member, as her passion also extends to the transformation of the science academic sphere.

Sthabile Kolwa

Astronomy is one of my great passions and is the reason why I embarked on a journey to become a professional astronomer when I began my undergraduate studies. With scholarship awards from the SKA-NRF, I complete a BSc in Astronomy and Physics at the University of Cape Town. Choosing to stay in the field, I went on to complete an MSc in Physics, with distinction, at the University of the Western Cape. Thereafter, I enrolled in an International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS) PhD program and earned a Dr. rer. nat. (PhD equivalent), cum laude, from the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich in 2019. 

At the start of the post-PhD phase of my career, I took a postdoc position at the Inter-University Institute for Data Intensive Astronomy (IDIA) in Cape Town for a year. While here, I continued working on research projects I had begun with collaborators from my former institute who supervised my PhD project. I also started working on projects associated with the MeerKAT International GHz Tiered Extragalactic Exploration (MIGHTEE) working group which I had formed a connection with during my MSc. While in the first year of the postdoc, I was offered a lecturing position at the Physics Department of the University of Johannesburg. Given my fondness for the teaching and learning process, I took on this new role knowing that I would have the opportunity to carry out research while also being more directly involved with students as a lecturer and project supervisor. The educational aspect of this role has provided me with the motivation to continue working in this field as I have a personality type that is geared more strongly towards altruism and being motivated by a greater purpose. Having a direct view of the impact higher learning has on young minds and lives has made my work in Astrophysics worthwhile. 

Within research, my main research interests fall under Extragalactic Astronomy. My first research project involved a study of the correlation between group environment groups of AGN and their radio power which represents the strength of their jets (Kolwa et al 2019a). This publication was partly based on my MSc research work.
During my PhD, I became a member of a working group that investigates the circum-galactic medium within distant radio galaxies (beyond redshift two i.e. z > 2). We make use of ALMA (Atacama Large Millimetre/sub-millimetre Array) and MUSE (Multi-unit Spectroscopic Explorer) datasets to dissect the structure of the extended halo gas around these galaxies and attempt to trace their origin. These galaxies host radio-loud active galactic nuclei (AGN) and are therefore excellent tracers for kinetic feedback between the AGN and the stellar disk as well as its extended interstellar and circumgalactic medium gas. In 2019, we published a peer-reviewed paper using the MUSE data to study the ionised component of the CGM around a z=2.9 galaxy (Kolwa et al 2019b). A follow-up study, which focusses on the molecular gas traced via neutral carbon line emission and continuum, is in preparation. Up until now, the complex physics underlying interactions between the radio jets produced by the AGN and the extended CGM have not been understood very well. This is especially true for galaxies at high redshifts. This subject is therefore a major frontier for new discoveries concerning the evolution of distant galaxies. 

Additionally, as a member of the MIGHTEE working group, I am also interested in exploring the properties of star-forming galaxies and AGN host galaxies. The Early Science MeerKAT detections of such galaxies within the XMM-LSS and COSMOS fields will form the basis for our upcoming research. We will combine the MeerKAT data with uGMRT (upgraded Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope) detections within the same fields to obtain radio spectral indices spanning 0.3 – 2.0 GHz in observed frequencies. This study will later be extended to include multi-wavelength photometry with which we will perform a spectral energy distribution (SED) analysis. These procedures will provide insights into the star-formation and AGN properties of the galaxies detected by MeerKAT.
Throughout my early-research career this far, I have given numerous talks and seminars at local and international seminars, meetings, and conferences. I am also developing a popular science communication page where I discuss Astronomy developments within South African front in a way that is accessible to the public. It can be accessed at the web address: sthabile.medium.com (hosted by the website Medium).

While engaged in teaching and research, I also make it a priority to motivate future STEM within my immediate community. I aim to work with my group, Astronomy in Colour, to encourage young Africans to focus on building a future within Astronomy or any STEM field. We do so via webinars, social media, planetarium visits and school events/activities we are currently planning.

Thebe Rodney Medupe

Prof. Thebe Rodney Medupe is a professor of Astronomy at the North West University , South Africa. He obtained his PhD in Astronomy from the University of Cape Town in 2002 on the research area of stellar astrophysics with specialization on stellar pulsations. His PhD studies was a collaboration between UCT and the Danish university of Aarhus.  He has co-authored over 55 articles with co-authors from all around the world. His h-index is 15. He has experience in both observational and theoretical (numerical) modelling of pulsations in stars. He has succesfuly supervised 5 PhD and 6 MSc students and many Honours students at NASSP and at North West University. He was co-founding member of the National Astrophysics and Space Science Programme (NASSP). From 2015 until 2018 he was the chairperson of the NASSP consortium. He pioneered the NASSP Winterschool as a vehicle of including South African students from universities that did not have astronomy research programmes into the astronomy community. The success of the Winterschool changed the face of astronomy in South Africa significantly. He has taught stellar structure both at Honours and MSc at the NASSP as well as at North West University in Mahikeng campus. Prof. Medupe founded astronomy research group at the Mahikeng campus in 2010, the group has been getting strong and now has 4 astronomers. He has supervised 5 postdoctoral fellows.
Prof. Medupe is also passionate about public outreach of astronomy, having been part of two African astronomy documentary movies, namely Cosmic Africa and the Scribes of Timbuktu. Cosmic Africa deals with African indigenous Astronomy. The Scribes of Astronomy looks at the astronomy content of the ancient manuscripts of Timnuktu in West Africa. The international success of Cosmic Africa has led to him being listed in Africa’s most influential people by the New African Magazine which is based in London in 2011 and 2014. Prof. Medupe was also invited to give public lecture on the subject of Cosmic Africa at the Royal Society events in London. He has written two children books titled “The Stars under the African Skies” and “Children of Stars”. He also has written a High School level book on “Astronomy during Timbuktu”. He has written chapters in books on the topic of history of African astronomy. Prof. Medupe also established and founded the Mahikeng Astronomical Observatory in 2015. The observatory was officially opened by the South African minister of Science and Technology in 2018. The main telescopes of this observatory are the 16inch Meade and the Planewave 20inch CDK20 with QSI 683 and SBIG Aluma AC4040 Cmos cameras. The observatory also has an echelle spectrograph with resolution R=10000. The observatory holds monthly open nights for the public and schools in the North West Province of South Africa.
Prof. Medupe’s leadership ability is shown by the fact that he is currently the deputy Dean for Community Engagement at the NWU since 2018. He has also been involved in the National Research Foundation (NRF) astronomy advisory Council and other panels. His experience and passion for Africa and history of Astronomy in Africa will be invaluable to the advancement of the African Astronomical Society.

Ramotholo Sefako

Ramotholo Sefako is a South African astronomer, who obtained his PhD in astrophysics from North-West University (NWU) in Potchefstroom in 2002. He worked as a lecturer from January 2002, and from the following year as a senior lecturer in the then School of Physics at NWU. He also worked at University of Wisconsin – Madison, Astronomy Department, as a research associate for about one and half years from September 2002. After leaving NWU end of 2004, he joined the University of the Free State – Qwa Qwa Campus, Physics Department, in January 2005, as a senior lecturer. He joined the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) in late September 2005 as a postdoctoral fellow. From 2006, he worked at the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) as a SALT Astronomer. He accepted the position of Head of Telescope Operations at SAAO in late 2007, a position he currently still holds. He is also part of the management team at SAAO.

Ramotholo is a member of the International Astronomical Union (IAU), the South African Institute of Physics (SAIP), Astronomical Society of Southern Africa (ASSA) and recently African Astronomical Society (AfAS). He served in the SAIP as Astronomy and Space Science Specialist Group chairperson from July 2008 to September 2010, and as a fundraiser between 2006 and 2008. He was a member of the IAU Membership Committee from 2012 to 2018. He also served as one of the Organising Committee members of IAU Division B Commission 50: Protection of Existing & Potential Observatory Sites (2012 to 2015). He was part of the Scientific Organising Committee (SOC) for the IAU General Assembly Focus Meeting #21 on “Mitigating Threats of Light Pollution and Radio Frequency Interference” held in Hawaii in August 2015. He was a member of the SOC for the IAU Special Session 17 (SpS17), “Light Pollution: Protecting Astronomical Sites and Increasing Global Awareness through Education” held in Beijing in 2012. He is currently a member of the Organizing Committee of Inter-Division B-C Commission on Protection of Existing and Potential Observatory Sites. Outside of astronomy, he has completed NRF Management Development Programme (MDP) offered by the University of Stellenbosch Business School, and SAIM Programme from UNISA’s Centre for Business Management. He has also served as a business continuity and risk management coordinator at SAAO.

Yosry Ahmed Azzam

Dr. Yosry Azzam received the B.Sc. degree in electrical engineering from Menoufia University, Egypt, in 1988. He got his M.Sc. in 1998 from Cairo University and his Ph.D. in 2005 from Cairo university and Tohoku University, Japan through a channel system. His Ph.D. title was: “Visual-Based Telescope Motion Control using Pattern Matching and Artificial Neural Networks”. 

He is currently a Professor at the National Research Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics (NRIAG). 
He worked as an Assistant and Associate Professor at the college of science, Majmaah University, KSA for 10 years. 

His current research interests include artificial intelligence in the field of astrophysics, astronomical instruments, and thin film deposition leading to publications in the top journals in these fields. He has an excellent experience related to astronomical telescopes, astronomical instruments, coating & vacuum instruments, and CCD cameras

Dr. Azzam authored/co-authored over 25 International journal articles, conference proceedings. He has several publications in reputed and high impact journals published by IEEE, Elsevier, Springer, and others. Dr. Azzam is reviewing papers for many local and international journals and has joined many of research projects. 
Dr. Azzam is currently the PI of the project: “Kottamia Faint Imaging Spectro-Polarimeter (KFISP)” that has been recently developed and designed to be mounted to the Cassegrain focus of the 1.9-m telescope at Kottamia Astronomical Observatory (KAO) in Egypt. He is also a member of the project: “Observing and studying astronomical transient phenomena using the Kottamia Astronomical Telescope”. As well, he is a member of the committee of the future project: “Egyptian Large Optical Telescope (ELOT)” which is expected to be of a size of 6.5m. The project is currently in the site testing phase which is expected to be finished within 30-36 months.

Zouhair Benkhaldoun

Professor Zouhair Benkhaldoun graduated (PHD) in astrophysics from the university of Nice Sophia Antipolis in France and Cadi Ayyad university of Marrakech. He is also graduated (PHD) in Energetics from University of Provence in Marseille France. In 1985 he founds along with three other researchers the first Astrophysics laboratory in Morocco. He joins the university of Marrakech in 1992 and founded the laboratory of High Energy Physics and Astrophysics (LPHEA) in 1999. He also works on the creation of the first professional Astronomic Observatory at Oukaimeden inaugurated in 2007 and directs it since then. He founds in 1999 the Association d’Astronomie Amateur de Marrakech   (3AM), a cultural association aimingto promote science of the universe towards the large public audience (Scholars in particular). These works on site testing field allow Morocco to be selected for the site study campaign for the European Extremely Large Telescope (EELT). He has authored or co-authored more than 240 publications in Astronomy and astrophysics field. It has been elected (may 2013) as president of the Moroccan National Committee of Astronomy. He is also Arab Astronomical Society president and Atlas Dark Sky president. He is carrying an ambitious project to build a 2 meters telescope in Morocco.