From November 13 to November 17, 2023, Addis Ababa hosted the 386th Symposium of the International Astronomical Union. The event, themed “The Role of Dark Sky and Astronomical Artifacts in Promoting Astro-Tourism,” brought together international and national stakeholders from various regions, including Africa, Asia, and Europe. Organized by the International Astronomical Union (IAU), along with the Space Science and Geospatial Institute, the Ministry of Innovation and Technology, and the Ministry of Tourism, the symposium aimed to foster discussions on safeguarding the Dark Sky from artificial lights.
Alemiye Mamo, the Regional Partnership Lead Executive of the Space Science and Geospatial Institute and the chairperson of the symposium, highlighted the platform as an opportunity to share experiences related to Dark Sky preservation. Discussions included exploring the potential for increasing astro-tourism and investing in dark sky tourism resources at the international level. Additionally, consultations with tourism industry stakeholders focused on raising awareness and optimizing tourism resources.
This marked the second time Ethiopia hosted the International Astronomical Union Symposium, with the country previously organizing the 356th Symposium in 2019. Established in 1919, the International Astronomical Union boasts 85member countries, including Ethiopia. The symposium concluded its deliberations on November 13-17, 2023.