The Centre for Basic Space Research of the National Space Research and Development Agency, NASRDA, says it has concluded arrangements to launch “Women in Astronomy” programme in 2019 to bridge gender gap in the study of basic space science courses.
The acting Director of the centre, Bonaventure Okere, disclosed this on Friday in an interview with newsmen in Nsukka, Enugu State.
He said that the launch of the programme was part of the centre’s effort toward contributing to the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, five and nine, targeted at gender equality, industry, innovation and infrastructure.
He added that there were few women in the area studying astronomy and other relates science courses.
He said “Some of the tools that we are developing to address SDGs include automated irrigation system for agriculture to ensure food sufficiency and guarantee year-round farming.
“We also have infrared thermometer which can be deployed in the health sector and the most recent one which is the solar tracker for energy supply.
“We are also encouraging women to go into basic space science to address gender imbalance. So, some of our girls and women are involved in space science now.”
He explained that the launch of the women and girls in astronomy programme next year would boost their participation into the area of space research.
The acting director, however, noted that the scientific tools initiated by the centre might not address all the challenges in the sector toward sustainable development “but would reduce them.”
According to him, basic space science is the bedrock for technological development and any nation that invests in basic space science and technology development is ready to join the developing world.