NASA Administrator, Ambassador Brigety, Ambassador Haslach discuss application of NASA Earth science for planning in Ethiopia and other African Union

Addis Ababa November 12, 2014, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, Ambassador Patricia M. Haslach, U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia, and Ambassador Reuben E. Brigety, Ambassador of the United States of America to the African Union, met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, this week to share information about resources available to Africa to better mitigate environmental changes due to global climate change.

On Monday, Bolden delivered high-resolution topographical data, collected by the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, 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. The data for the African continent was recently released as part of President Barack Obama’s climate action plan announcement during the United Nations Climate Summit in September.

“It is vital that African nations and NASA continue to explore mutual areas of cooperation,” Bolden said. “I look forward to our continued 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, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture at the African Union, and Martial De-Paul Ikounga, the Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology at the African Union to discuss the potential for mutually 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.”

During his visit, Administrator Bolden and Ambassador Haslach met with Dr. Tedros Adhanom, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Demitu Hambisa, the Ethiopian Minister of Science and Technology to discuss potential areas of mutual cooperation and 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 at Addis Ababa Institute of Technology.

Commenting on the importance of the visit to Ethiopia and the African Union, Ambassador Haslach said, “We are excited General 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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