Day 1 (Monday: 08 March 2021)

Session 1: Opening Ceremony

 Programme Director: Mr. Daan DU TOIT – DSI DDG ICR

Opening, Welcome address and the Keynote address:

09:05 – 09:10: Programme Director (Mr. Daan DU TOIT – DSI DDG ICR)

09:10 – 09:20: Welcoming Remarks by the President of AfAS and introduction of the South African Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation (Prof. Jamal Mimouni)

09:20 – 09:40: Opening Keynote Address by the South African Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation (Dr. Bonginkosi Emmanuel Nzimande)

09:40 – 09:45: Message from African Union Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology (H.E. Professor Sarah Mbi Enow Anyang)

09:45 – 09:50: Message from President of IAU (Prof. Ewine van Dishoeck)

09:50 – 09:55: Message from DG Scientific and Technological Research (Algeria) (Prof. Hafid Aourag)

09:55 – 10:00: Message from Acting CEO NRF (Dr. Gansen Pillay)

10:00 – 10:05: Message from President of SAIP (Prof. Deena Naidoo)

10:05 – 10:10: Message from Ethiopian representative Ministry of Innovation and Technology (Dr. Solomon Belay Tessema)

10:10 – 10:15: Message from East African Astronomy Society (Prof. Paul Baki)

10:15 – 10:20: Message from Director NASRDA (Dr. Bonaventure Okere)

10:20 – 10:25: Message from the IAU-OAD (Mr. Kevin Govender)

10:25 -10:40Break

Session 2: Plenary 1

Chair: Jamal Mimouni

10:40 – 11:00 (CAT) Rhodri Evans, University of Namibia, Namibia
The Africa Millimetre Telescope – Observing the Galaxy’s central black hole
11:00 – 11:20Carla Sharpe, SARAO, RSA
SARAO, AVN and the Africa Programme
11:20 – 11:40Fernando Camilo, SARAO, RSA
MeerKAT Updates and Early Science
11:40 – 12:00Sivuyile Manxoyi, SAAO, RSA
Seasoning society with SALT: Reflections and lessons from the SALT Collateral Benefits Programme (SCBP)
12:00 – 12:30Lunch break

Session 3: Plenary 2

Chair: Shazrene Mohamed

12:30 – 12:50 (CAT)Beza Tesfaye, SGAC, Ethiopia
Space in Africa
12:50 – 13:10Jamal Mimouni, University of Constantine, Algeria
The Micro & Macro Worlds Circa Early XXIst Century
13:10 – 13:30Sarah White, Rhodes University, RSA
The brightest radio-sources in the southern sky
13:30 – 13:50Itumeleng Monageng, UCT/SAAO
A study of the outbursting behavior of the Be X-ray binary, SXP91.1
13:50 – 14:10Naftali Kimani, Kenyatta University, Kenya
The evolution of Radio supernova SN2008iz in M82 Galaxy

Close: Day 1

Day 2 (Tuesday: 09 March 2021)

Session 4: Plenary 3

Chair: David Buckley

09:30 – 09:45 (CAT)Vanessa McBride, IAU-OAD/UCT, RSA
The neutron star populations of the Small Magellanic Cloud
09:45 – 10:00Elizabeth Naluminsa, Kyambogo University, Uganda
HI Scaling Relations in WISE-WHISP Galaxies
10:00 – 10:15Lina Canas, IAU OAO, Japan
The IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach: Building Bridges Through International Cooperation (invited)
10:15 – 10:30Markus Pössel, IAU OAE, Germany
The IAU Office of Astronomy for Education (invited)
10:30 – 10:45Break

Session 5: Parallel Session 1

 Chair: Zara Randriamanakoto     Chair: Sarah Abotsi-Masters                 
10:45 – 11:00 (CAT)Charles Takalana, AfAS, DSI, SARAO, WITS University, RSA
Simulated differential observations of the Sunyaev-Zel’dovich Effect: Probing the Dark Ages and Epoch of Reionization
Prospery Simpemba, Copperbelt University, Zambia 
Astronomy Education in primary schools as a foundation for STEM & Impact of AstroLab, Go-Lab and NASE workshops, Case Analyses
11:00 – 11:15James Chibueze, North-West University, RSA
MeerKAT reveals an interaction between jets and intra-cluster magnetic layer
Carl Pennypacker, UC Berkeley, USA
Encouraging Results from an Online Teacher Training Workshop in Astronomy Education for Uganda Secondary Teachers
11:15 – 11:30Hassan Abdalla, University of Namibia, Namibia
Probing fundamental physics and cosmology using Gamma-ray observations
Joshua Kalognia, SIR-Institute for Science, 
Promoting Radio Astronomy in Ghana through School Visit and Astronomy clubs
11:30 – 11:45Louis Perenon, UWC, RSA, 
Multitasking the growth of structures
11:45 – 12:00Brenda Namumba, Rhodes University, RSA
The NGC 7232 galaxy group with MeerKAT
Lunch Break
12:00 – 12:30Lunch Break Lunch Break

Session 6: Parallel Session 2

 Chair: Itumeleng MonagengChair: Zara Randriamanakoto
12:30 – 12:45 (CAT)Rajeev Manick, SAAO, RSA
The Binary nature of the central star of the PPN IRAS 08005-2356
Nadeem Oozeer, SARAO, RSA
How do we up-skill Africa through the JEDI?
12:45 – 13:00Marisa Geyer, SARAO, RSA
Pulsars with MeerKAT and the giant bursts from PSR J0540-6919 in the LMC
Michelle Gerbaldi, Institut d’Astrophysiq ue de Paris (IAP), France
Telescopic Observations from School to University: Practical Activities for Scientific Skills
13:00 – 13:15Magdeline Matobe, NWU, RSA
Asteroseismic and astrometric characterization of members in the NGC 6866 open cluster
Margaret Ikape, University of Toronto, Canada
The Pan-African School for Emerging Astronomers
13:15 – 13:30Priya Hasan, Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Hyderabad, India
Kinematics and Progress of Star Formation in Star Clusters with Kottamia Observatory
Gyula Jozsa, SARAO, RSA
Galactic Fidelity: an Africa-centered international learning initiative
13:30 – 13:45Sarah Buchner, SARAO, RSA
Pulsar timing on MeerKAT
13:45 – 14:00Break Break

Session 7: Parallel Session 3

 Chair: Lerothodi Leeuw      Chair: Jamal Mimouni
14:00 – 14:15 (CAT)Babatunde Akinsanmi, University of porto, Portugal
The quest to find rings aroundexoplanets
Bonnie Thurber, Hands on Universe, Lawrence Berkeley Labs,USA
Astronomy Research by Student Teams Modeled after Real Astronomy Research
14:15 – 14:30Benkhaldoun Zouhair, Cadi AyyadUniversity, Oukaimeden Observatory, Morocco
Monitoring the activity and composition of the first interstellar comet 2I/Borisov with TRAPPIST telescopes 
Maram Kaire, Association Senegalaise pour la Promotion de l’Astronomie, Senegal
Senegal Observatio n of the stellar Occultation of Polymele
14:30 – 14:45Timothy Egbuim, National Space Research and Development Agency, Nigeria
Evolutionary Panspermia: Planets MicroLife and Beyond
Ikechuwu Anthony Obi, NASRDACentre for Basic Space Science, Nigeria
A compact and portable hydrogen line radio telescope for education and outreach 
14:45 – 15:00 Salma Sylla, University Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar, Senegal
Measuring variability with small telescopes: Monitoring impact flashes on Jupiter and the study of variable star
Aniket Sule, HBCSE, India
International Astronomy Olympiads – engaging Africa (invited)
15:00 – 15:15Jean-Baptiste Kikwaya Eluo, Vatican Observation, Italy
Physical Characterization of Near-Earth Objects (From spectroscopy back to spectrophotometry)

Close: Day 2

Day 3 (Wednesday: 10 March 2021)

Session 8: Planetary 4

Chair: Niruj Ramanujam

09:30 – 09:45 (CAT)Petri Vaisanen, SAAO/SALT, RSA
An update on SALT
09:45 – 10:00David Buckley, SAAO, RSA
Observing Optical Transients in Africa
10:00 – 10:15Kevin Govender, IAU OAD, RSA
Astronomy for Development
10:15 – 10:30Susan Murabana, APA, Kenya
African Planetarium Association 
10:30 – 10:45Break

Session 9: Parallel Session 4

 Chair: James Chibueze      Chair: Ramasamy Venugopal
10:45 – 11:00 (CAT)Michelle Lochner, South African Radio Astronomy Observatory, RSA
Anomaly Detection in Astronomy with Machine Learning
Alemiye Yacob Mamo, EAROAD/ESSTI, Ethiopia 
Overview of EAROAD and Space Science Development in Ethiopia
11:00 – 11:15Stephen Potter, SAAO, RSA
SAAO’s Intelligent Observatory (IO)
Nnaemeka Dom Onyeuwaoma, NASRDACentre for Basic Space Science, Nsukka, Nigeria 
The West African Regional Office of Astronomy for Development (WAROAD): The Journey So Fa
11:15 – 11:30Patrick Woudt, UCT, RSA
ThunderKAT and MeerLICHT: a multiwavelength study of astrophysical transients
Prospery Simpemba, Copperbelt University, Zambia 
Southern African Regional Office of Astronomy for Development (SAROAD) 7 Years after Establishment
11:30 – 11:45Tana Joseph, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
An SKA precursor view of the Small Magellanic Cloud
Sylvain Bouley, Société Astronomique de France, France 
L’Astronomie Afrique, the first astronomy webzine in Africa 
11:45 – 12:00LunchDiscussion
12:00 – 12:30Lunch  

Session 10: Parallel Session 5

 Chair: Paul BakiChair: Susan Murabana
12:30 – 12:45 (CAT)Tahina Princy Ranaivoma nana, University of Manchester, UK
The SUNBIRD survey: Young massive star clusters hosted by strongly starforming galaxies
Sally Macfarlane, UCT, RSA
A Full dome look at African Astronomy
12:45– 13:00Julien Larena, University of Cape Town, RSA
Line-of-sight effects in gravitational lensing
Hichem Guergouri, Sirius Astronomy Association Algeria
Constantine Cosmic Caravane
13:00 – 13:15Dejene Zewdie Woldeyes, Universidad Diego Portales, Chile
The Environments of Hot Dust Obscured Galaxies
Nico van den Merwe, South Africa
Developing Affordable Portable Planetariums for the African Continent
13:15 – 13:30BreakDiscussion
13:30 – 13:45Break 

Session 11: Parallel Session 6

 Chair: Rajeev Manick        Chair: Niruj Ramanujam
13:45 – 14:00 (CAT)Johnson Urama, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria
Daniel Cunnama, SAAO, RSA
The Cosmic Savannah Podcast
14:00 – 14:15Nekolgne Aymard Badolo, University Joseph KIZERBO, Burkina Faso
Loss of mass of evolved stars via observations with sphere at the VLT
Rosa Doran, NUCLIO, Portugal 
Digital tools and resources to empower educators and learners
14:15 – 14:30Mohamed Darwish Darwish, NRIAG, Egypt
Cosmic masers toward high-mass star forming regions  
Nikhita Madhanpall, IAU OAD, RSA
Data science skills development in Africa with big data hackathon 
14:30 – 14:45Oyirwoth Patrick Abedigamba, North-West University, RSA
Kepler space observations of diperiodic and ellipsoidal star: KIC 5112836
Zoe Chee, Astronomers without Borders, Canada
Astronomers Without Borders – Building Community through Astronomy (invited)
14:45 – 15:00Hambeleleni Davids, University of Namibia, Namibia
Estimating Uncertainties in the Predicted Gamma-ray Flux of Globular Clusters in the Cherenkov Telescope Array Era
15:00 – 15:15Break 

Session 12: Special Session 1

General discussion on the IAU General Assembly 2024 in Cape Town

Convener: Vanessa McBride

15:15 – 16:30 (CAT)Zoom link:

– Introduction to GA2024: Vanessa McBride (10 mins)
– The science sub-committee: Shazrene Mohamed / Bradley Frank (15 mins)
– Questions/Discussion (15 minutes)
– The outreach sub-committee: Carolina Ödman-Govender / Moses Mogotsi (10 mins)
– Questions/Discussion (15 minutes)
– Call to Action and Session closing:  Shazrene Mohamed (5-10 mins)

Close: Day 3

Day 4 (Thursday: 11 March 2021)

Session 13: Planetary 5

Chair: Renée Kraan-Kortweg

09:30 – 09:45 (CAT)Zara Randriamanakoto, SAAO, RSA
Star clusters and radio AGNs as vital tools to study galaxy formation and evolution
09:45 – 10:00Kenda Knowles, UKZN, RSA
Galaxy Clusters with MeerKAT
10:00 – 10:15Alemiye Mamo, ESSTI, Ethiopia
2020 Annular Solar Eclipse in Lalibela, Ethiopia (invited)
10:15 – 10:30Niruj Ramanujam, SARAO, RSA
Enabling pan-African outreach campaigns: the role of AfAS
10:30 – 10:45Break

Session 14: Parallel Session 

 Chair: Naftali Kimani    Chair: Amidou Sorgho
10:45 – 11:00 (CAT)Ayodeji Ibitoye, University of KwaZulu Natal, RSA
Cosmological parameter estimation with thermal Sunyaev Zeldovich effect and projected density field
Ramasamy Venugopal, IAU-OAD, RSA
Astronomy for Development: an African view (invited)
11:00 – 11:15Imogen Whittam, University of Oxford / UWC, RSA/UK
Exploring radio galaxies with the MIGHTEE survey
Getachew Mekonnen Mengistie, University of Namibia, Namibia 
Astronomy, and Its Impact in Namibia: Astro-tourism
11:15 – 11:30Neo Namane, Rhodes University, RSA,
MIGHTEE, but radio quiet: An investigation of AGN emission
Tawanda Chingozha, IAU OAD, RSA
Impact of Science on Development – Perspectives from Sutherland
11:30 – 11:45Cláudio Paulo, Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, Mozambique
Statistical analysis of radio halo and relics sample in Galaxy Clusters
11:45 – 12:30 Lunch Lunch

Session 15: Parallel Session

 Chair: Vanessa McBride     Chair: Alemiye Mamo
12:30 – 12:45 (CAT)Innocent, Eya, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria
Magnitude of Neutron Star Crustal Fluid and Evolution Vela-like Glitches
El Yajouri Meriem, National Outreach Coordinator, Morocco
The most successful astronomy outreach events in Morocco in 2019-2020
12:45 – 13:00Willice  Obonyo
Non-thermal radio emission from massive protostars
Somaya Saad, National Research Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics (NRIAG), Egypt
Astronomy Development, Education, and outreach in Egypt: Challenges and Prospects
13:00 – 13:15Tolu Biressa, Jimma University, Ethiopia, Ethiopia
The rate of star formation in interacting molecular clouds with stellar activity
Johnson Urama, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria
The African Cultural Astronomy Project: The Hidden Treasure
13:15 – 13:30 BreakDiscussion
13:30 – 14:00 Break Break

Session 16: Parallel Session 

 Chair: Brenda Namumba    Chair: Prospery Simpemba
14:00 – 14:15 (CAT)Amidou Sorgho, CSIC-IAA, Spain
Angular momentum of isolated galaxies
Claudio Paulo, Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, Mozambique
The constraint of astronomy research in Mozambique
14:15 – 14:30Sourabh Paul, University of the Western Cape, RSA
HI intensity mapping with the MeerKAT interferometer: power spectrum estimates
Kirubel Menberu, Ethiopian Space Science Society, Ethiopia
Projects on expansion and development of amateur astronomy for youth in Ethiopia 
14:30 – 14:45Mazengo Daudi, The University of Dodoma, Tanzania
Detailed characterization of LINERs in the local universe
Tahina Princy Ranaivomanana, University of Manchester, UK
Developing Astronomy in Madagascar: Young Malagasy graduate students taking charge.
14:45 – 15:00Sultan Hassan, Flatiron Institute, USA
Can galaxy evolution mimic Cosmic Reionization?
15:00 – 15:30Break Break

Session 17: Special Session 2

Science Communication Workshop

Convener: Carolina Odman

15:30 – 17:00 (CAT)”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””” Zoom link: 

A workshop on science communication for everyone

The science communication session will be a highly interactive session with discussions with the participants about various topics. It is structured into four 20-minute discussions about:
– Knowing your audience
– Knowing your medium of communications
– Creating communication opportunities
– Dealing with challenges
Each section will have a 5-minute introduction and be followed by a conversation among the participants.
The discussions will be summarised into a document that will be shared with the AfAS community.

Close: Day 4

Day 5 (Friday: 12 March 2021)

AfAS Business Focus

Zoom link:

Session 18: Business/General Meeting

09:30 – 09:40 (CAT)AfAS President’s Review of 2020 (Jamal Mimouni)
09:40 – 09:50 Science (David Buckley)
09:50 – 10:00 Outreach (Niruj Ramanujam)
10:00 – 10:05 Education (Palesa Nombula)
10:05 – 10:10Communications (Charles Takalana)
10:10 – 10:25Membership (Sarah Abotsi-Masters)
10:25 – 10:40Questions from members
10:40 – 10:50Amendments to AfAS Constitution (Yunus Manjoo)
10:50 – 11:00General Question & Answer Session
11:00 – 11:15Comments on the overall AfAS2021 conference from participants
11:15 – 11:35Remarks (Petri Vaisanen, Renée Kraan-Kortewg, Noorali Jiwaji, Zouhair Benkhaldoun)
11:35– 11:45Announcements and Vote of thanks (Lerothodi Leeuw)
11:45 – 12:15Lunch

Session 19: Special Session 3 & 4

12:15 – 13:15Special Session 3: African Network of Women in Astronomy (AfNWA): current status and way
Zoom link: 

Abstract: African Network of Women in Astronomy (AfNWA) has been established recently under the African Astronomical Society (AfAS). Astronomy and space sciences are experiencing significant growth in Africa. For the benefit of all, with AfNWA initiative we would like to guarantee female participation at all levels of these new and important developments, to improve the status of women in science in Africa where currently in most of the countries the number of female researchers is < 25% (see UNESCO 2019 Women in Science report), and to use astronomy to inspire more girls to do STEM. AfNWA aims to connect and give more visibility to all women working in astronomy and related fields in Africa. However, AfNWA objectives cannot be achieved without the full support and participation of the whole society, independently on gender and affiliation/country. During this special session we will go through the previous work and current status of AfNWA. We will also discuss on the list of planned activities and on the best way for Network to move forward.
13:15 – 13:30
13:30 – 14:30Special Session 4: Amateur Astronomy Associations in Africa
Zoom link: 

Abstract: This session is meant for members of amateur astronomy associations in Africa and will be one of the first meetings of its kind. The discussion will focus on the feasibility of forming a common platform of all such associations and explore the nature of collaborations that can be undertaken by these groups together. Other participants who are interested in working closely with African amateur astronomy associations are welcome to attend as well.
14:30 – 14:40Feedback on conference
14:40 – 14:45Vote of thanks  (Jamal Mimouni)

Close: Day 5

Science Posters:

Asrate Gaulle Asrie (Dilla University)
An Alternative Method for Measuring the Accretion Rate in Active Galactic Nuclei
Betelehem Bilata (Debre Berhan University (DBU))
Multiwavelength morphological study of active galaxies in the BASS survey
Dr. Getachew Mekonnen Mengistie
Listening the Sound of Stars: Asteroseismology
Dugasa Belay Zeleke (Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute)
Effects of the dynamo magnetic fields on observational properties of Accreting Millisecond X-ray Pulsars
Lerothodi Leeuw (University of the Western Cape)
Constraining Proto-clusters with MeerKAT
Margaret Ikape (University of Toronto)
Mitigating the optical depth degeneracy using the kinematic Sunyaev-Zel’dovich effect with CMB-S4
Mejri Ziad (Tunisian Outreach (IAU))
Solar System
Nazir Ahmed Makda (SAAO)
Ultra-Diffuse Galaxy Candidates in Stripe 82 Clusters
Seblu Humne Negu (Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute, Entoto Observatory and Reserach Center)
Mass-luminosity relation of the low-mass Algol-type eclipsing binaries
Abdelaziz Eid (National Research Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics (NRIAG))
An astrometric and photometric study of the young open cluster NGC 2168 and its possible member, the eclipsing binary [NBN2015]77

Education, Development and Outreach Posters

Priya Hasan (Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Hyderabad, India)
Clear Skies: An IUA-OAD Project
Elimboto Yohana (Dar Es Salaam University College of Education ( )
Digital and Web-based Technologies for Accelerated STEM Teaching, Learning, and Research
Ceren Ulusoy (BIUST)
Highlights of the recent developments of Astronomy in Botswana
Ashraf Tadross (National research institute of astronomy and geophysics)
My experience in Astronomy Outreach in Egypt
Eugene Tetteh-Owusu Okwei (University of Leeds)
Understanding the impact of large-scale Radio Astronomy projects on student engagement with physics in Ghana
Tumo Fortunate Kedumele (Botswana International University of Science and Technology and Women in STEM (WiS))
Outreach Project: Astronomy for Change in Botswana through Women in STEM (WiS)