The vision of the International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA09 in English or AMA09 in French) was to help the citizens of the world rediscover their place in the Universe through the day/night time sky, and thereby engage a personal sense of wonder and discovery.
In Africa and Gabon in particular , the driving theme was Astronomy for Education. The aim was to use the IYA09 as a platform to reinforce the need for a stronger culture of learning - both formally and informally - for a radiating Gabonese society in the African Renaissance.
Gabon is home of some of the most ancient inhabitants of Africa and the world : "Akoula" - in one Bantou language. As such, Gabon is a host of one the most ancient form of Natural Science, whose concerns included the heavens. It is essential to tap onto this wealth. In so doing we will better highlight native Africans' contributions to the human understanding and use of basic functions of the Universe, while locally strengthening the presence of modern day astronomy & space science.
Beyond the International Year of Astronomy is the natural extension to IYA09. We are expanding upon the momentum gained in 2009. In Gabon & Africa, Astronomy for Education remains the motto. Africa will be - once more - dominant Power in the World by 2050. And the use of Space at large will play a part. With a total solar eclipse above Gabon and parts of central Africa on November, 3, 2013, this momentum is bound to grow significantly.
DOGON's "Sigui Tolo" & " Po Tolo" (Sirius A & B) : A central system in native African astronomy.
The Team is still growing with the inclusion of new stakeholders and related networks. The current core is made of members of NOMMO ASTRONOMIA, the Society for Astronomy & Space Science in Gabon mainly led by:
Dr. Medard MOUELE, a central contact to local scholars as well as to different government and non-government organizations. Dr. MOUELE is the Secretary General of NOMMO ASTRONOMIA
Mr Fernand LEPOKO, a Media & Film industry personality. Mr. LEPOKO is the treasurer of NOMMO ASTRONOMIA.
Dr. Patrice M. OKOUMA, the Head of NOMMO ASTRONOMIA. He was the Single Point of Contact (SPoC) for Gabon for IYA2009. Dr. OKOUMA is a key contact to the local educational/research community as well as to different government and non-government institutions, both locally and internationally.