ADDIS ABABA—Ethtiopia’s military government is moving rapidly to create a National Science Center to force the pace of technical change in one of the world’s poorest countries.

The center is an outgrowth of the increased support for science expressed in the country’s new constitution, approved in May and put into effect last month. The idea for a center comes largely from Abebe Muluneh a civil engineer in his late 40s who heads the country’s Science and Technology Commission and who sits op the ruling Council of Ministers. The planned center will eventually have a staff of some 200 to 300 scientists, divided among various disciplines. It is expected to serve as the governing body for science and technology in the country, as well as developing its own network of laboratories and directing money to individual projects. Muluneh said the center will have five major goals to build the country's research...

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