NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia Patricia Haslach, and U.S. Ambassador to the African Union (AU) Reuben Brigety, met this week in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to discuss resources available to help mitigate the impacts in Africa of global climate change.
On Monday, Bolden delivered high-resolution topographical data for the African continent to the technical committee of the Governing Council of the Regional Center for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD), which hosts the SERVIR Eastern and Southern Africa Hub. SERVIR is a joint venture between NASA and the U.S. Agency for International Development that provides satellite-based Earth observation data and science applications to help developing nations. The data, collected by the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, was recently released as part of President Barack Obama’s climate action plan, announced during the United Nations Climate Summit in September.
“It is vital that NASA and African nations continue to explore mutual areas of cooperation,” Bolden said. “I look forward to our ongoing collaboration and to making a difference on real world problems with our satellites in space and crucial ground observations. Working together, we can improve life for all of our people.”
While in Addis Ababa, Bolden and Brigety met with Tumusiime Rhoda Peace, the AU Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, and Martial De-Paul Ikounga, the AU Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology, to discuss the potential for cooperation between NASA and the AU on education, disaster mitigation and applications for NASA’s Earth science research.
“The United States has been partnering with the African Union on topics as diverse as security, governance and agriculture,” Brigety said. “Administrator Bolden’s visit is another concrete example demonstrating that the United States is the natural partner for Africa and for the African Union.”
Administrator Bolden and Ambassador Haslach met with Demitu Hambisa, the Ethiopian Minister of Science and Technology to discuss applications for NASA's Earth science research. Administrator Bolden also met with leaders at the Entoto Observatory and Research Center, an observatory and education center, and spoke with students at the International Community School Tikur Anbessa High School, and Addis Ababa Institute of Technology.
“We are excited Administrator Bolden visited Addis Ababa this week and that NASA is engaging with the government of Ethiopia and the African Union on our shared objectives,” Haslach said. “While here in Addis Ababa, Administrator Bolden participated in a range of outreach activities and engaged Ethiopian policymakers and technical experts on Ethiopia’s space program, which included a visit to the new observatory on Entoto Mountain and engagement with young Ethiopians interested in space exploration and how it can help us on Earth.”
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