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ASTRONOMY RESOURCES NEEDED IN TANZANIA

For people across all nations, continents, cultures and age groups, the fascination of astronomy holds their attention immediately. Tanzanians are no exception. We have the most ideal conditions for viewing the our universe: warm nights, clear skies and large areas of pitch black night skies far away from artificial lights. Straddling the equatorial region, we have horizon to horizon view of both the northern and the southern skies simultaneously. Such are the conditions that any astronomer would give anything for to use everyday.

To make full use of this treasure, Tanzania needs to develop astronomy as a science from which we can appreciate and understand the mysteries of nature that are hidden in the stars. I believe that by developing astronomy education, we will be able to explore and understand nature sufficiently to exploit it to develop our society. We need to create a base of such scientific training at all levels from elementary to tertiary and the public.

However, we still a long way from having a critical mass of scientists and scientific institutions that can a network to generate an explosion of creativity to find solutions to our problems to escape the trap set by perpetual poverty. To get to that level of development, we need support of personnel, equipment and materials:

= I would like to invite experts in all areas of astronomy who visit Tanzania for game and nature viewing or any other purpose to give some time to give lectures and knowledge to institutions and the public. Those who visit any part of Africa are invited to make a detour to Tanzania and offer us their time and expertise.

= We need training and practical attachments in all areas of astronomy in observatories, universities, planetariums, museums and related institutions.

= We need books, magazines and free and open source resources that can be accessed over the Internet. Any contribution, advice and guidance in getting knowledge at all levels are extremely welcome.

= Anybody who can give us equipment, gadgets and materials useful in learning science and astronomy through practice, such as telescopes, binoculars, astronomy kits, planetariums and any related materials that we can distribute to schools, colleges and universities will also much appreciated.

Please contact me on ntjiwaji@yahoo.com and ntjiwaji@out.ac.tz

Dr Noorali T Jiwaji National Liaison for Tanzania In Commission 46 for Education and Development International Astronomical Union

The Open University of Tanzania P. O. Box 23409 Dar es Salaam Tanzania 

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