Background of EORC
Ethiopia is known to the world as the origin of human beings and the cradle of ancient civilization such as the civilizations of Axum, Yeha and Damat. Ethiopia had also been involved in developing its own zodiac and calendar and hence exercising astronomy in civilization of human being since ancient time.
Though Ethiopia was among the pioneer in practicing astronomy in earlier times, there was no further development of astronomy and institution that support and lead the astronomy and space science in the country till the recent times. The recent development of astronomy in Ethiopia can be traced back with the establishment of Ethiopian Space Science Society(ESSS) in 2004. Since its establishment ,ESSS had set out goals and work for the development of space science in the country robustly for the past 12 years. One of the goal of ESSS, was establishment of astronomical observatories at Entoto and other highlands of Ethiopia. Thus, the first idea of establishing Entoto Observatory (EO) was come from ESSS and the construction of the center was started in 2008 and ends on 2011.
In 2012, ESSS decided the observatory to be independent research institute and transferred all the properties such as the already constructed buildings along with all its infrastructures , two 1m diameter telescope with their domes and some seed money for establishment of EO. In January 2012/2013, EO was officially established as independent research and training center owned and run by , ESSS, 32 public and one private universities.
On October 2014, after fulfilling all the necessary start up requirements such as staff recruitment, curriculum development and validation, and affiliation with Addis Ababa University (AAU), Entoto Observatory and research center(EORC) became fully operational and started conducting research & postgraduate training, with a vision of making Ethiopia an effective and extensive user of space science and technology, especially satellite science and technology applications in all aspects of the development of the country and become contributor to the development of astronomy, space science and related sciences within a decade .
EORC is now working as a national facility center, responsible to lead and coordinate, research & training in astronomy and astrophysics, space science, Earth Observation, Satellite and related science and technology at national level. It also closely work and collaborate with national and international research institutions and aspire to be East Africa regional research and training center of excellence.
Since its establishment EORC has made tremendous achievements and vibrant movement in popularizing astronomy and space science technology in the country for the past three years. EORC create conducive environment for young Ethiopian to get opportunity to advance their study in the fields of astronomy, astrophysics, space science, remote sensing and geodesy postgraduate programs in their own countries rather than going abroad.
Currently EORC's ,in its four Scientific departments, have a total of 44 graduate PhD and MSc students , 25 permanent staffs and 26 collaborator scientists from aboard and at home that engaged in research, training and advisory of graduate program. EORC has successful installed, commissioned and operated the twin optical telescopes for observational astronomy purpose.
EORC has increased its participation and visibility by taking part on different national and international workshops, exhibitions and hosting regional workshops such as East Africa Astronomical Society(EAAS) work shop. EORC has strong partnerships, collaboration with national , regional and international Astronomical research institutes and observatories.
Currently due to Establishment of EORC, ESSS continuous campaign and launching of ROAD office, the development of astronomy and space science in Ethiopia has gradually increased . The government of Ethiopia has also given serious attention and included in its growth and transformation plan believing that it is a key for its sustainable development. Moreover, EORC is now already transferred to the government under the ministry of science and technology (MOST), which shows how big the government is committed for the development of space science in the country.