SKA projects to provide long-term benefit for African youth

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A research team funded by SKA SA, led by Cape Town astronomer Roger Deane, have discovered a triple super-massive black hole system.

JOHANNESBURG – Science ministers from eight African countries met in Pretoria this week to discuss their countries&39; involvement in building and hosting the world&39;s largest radio telescope, the Square Kilometre Array (SKA).

South Africa had already demonstrated its science and engineering excellence by designing and building seven MeerKAT telescopes which are now operational in the Karoo.  

The telescopes, part of an eventual complement of 64, are seen as a pathfinder to the SKA.

Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor, while  acknowledging that Africa would only see the benefits in the long run.told her African counterparts that nothing must throw them off track.

SKA Project Director Bernie Fanaroff said construction of the MeerKAT would be completed in 2016 and science experiments would begin in 2017. He said that construction of phase one of the SKA would begin in 2018.”

“You&39;ll see a revival of university departments in physics and mathematics astronomy sciences engineering and other fields."

The minister said he expected the project ot lead to a  “revival of university departments in physics and mathematics astronomy sciences engineering and other fields."