SKA can help uplift Mozambique

27 March 2015

Participation as an African partner country in the international Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope programme is important to Mozambique, the country’s Vice Minister for Science, Technology, Higher and Professional Education, Leda Hugo has said.

The country is already making preparations. “We have several programmes of training. We are building a technical team to take responsibility for this programme.”

The country is identifying possible sites for outstations for Phase 2 of the SKA (outstations from the South African core, in the Karoo region. “At the rural sites we put in infrastructure like a school, hospital, electricity, water – including wells,” explained Hugo. “Then we build Community Competence Centres, focused on the main economic activity in the village. This improves life in these identified areas.”

In the interim, Mozambique, along with the other African SKA partner countries, is also a member of the African Very Long Baseline Interferometry Network (AVN).

This project involves converting obsolete large telecommunications dishes into radio telescopes.

Earlier this month, SKA South Africa reported that Telkom had donated a 7.6-m dish, situated near the Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory (east of Pretoria), to be converted into a training radio telescope for Mozambique.

Apart from South Africa and Mozambique, the African SKA partner countries are Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Namibia and Zambia.


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