East Africa is abuzz with excitement as Kenya prepares to host government dignitaries, the academic community, students and guests for the fifth edition of the prestigious DStv Eutelsat Star Awards.
The winning poster and essay entrants from 18 African countries will be revealed on 9 February at an awards ceremony in Nairobi, Kenya. This year’s edition of the DStv Eutelsat Star Awards received a record 1959 entries, almost doubling entries in 2014 and showing the increasing interest in this unique event.
Since it was set up in 2011 by MultiChoice Africa and Eutelsat, the DStv Eutelsat Star Awards has attracted the interest of over 5000 students across the continent and more than met its goal to invigorate a passion for science and technology in secondary school.
ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Paolo Nespoli is presiding over the Awards as Jury Chairman for the third year in a row, assisted by an international panel of skilled industry experts: Ronke Bello, CEO at Innovative Technology Literacy Services Ltd, Nigeria; Dr Jane Munga, Policy Advisor, Kenyan Ministry of Information, Communication, Technology and Research; Dr. Perkins Muredzi, Dean of School of Industrial Sciences and Technology, Harare Institute of Technology (HIT); Melt Loubser, GM: Broadcast Technology, MultiChoice Africa and Rodney Benn, Regional Director, Eutelsat.
Nespoli has an illustrious career spanning stints at the European Astronaut Centre (ESA/EAC) and NASA’s Johnson Space Centre in Houston before being selected by the Italian Space Agency to fly as an ESA astronaut.
Besides crewing on the 2007 Discovery shuttle mission, Nespoli spent over five months in space aboard the International Space Station (ISS) where he was responsible for a range of science and technology experiments and educational activities.
He is preparing a third trip into space in 2017 to the International Space Station where he will spend five-months. Students in Nairobi will this year have the opportunity to meet him during an outreach event where he will share his adventures in space.
The DStv Eutelsat Star Awards has uncovered a wealth of talent from the East African region, with six winners since the awards were set up 2011.