Development in Africa with Radio Astronomy
A joint UK-South Africa Newton Fund human capital development project
to help drive economic development in Africa.
This project aims to develop high tech skills using radio astronomy in a number of African countries. Radio astronomy encompasses all of the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills that underpin the emergence of a strong developed economy. The modern astronomer needs knowledge in physics, mathematics, chemistry and computing. To develop, maintain and run radio telescopes and instrumentation requires key skills in technology and engineering. The targeted countries will be acquiring radio telescopes to form the African VLBI Network as part of their participation in the South African Square Kilometre Array project. We aim to inspire and train a new and diverse generation of young people to engage with these skills. Our training programme engenders a research ethos as well as communication and diagnostic skills that are transferable to many aspects of a developing economy. The training team includes experienced entrepreneurs from the space sector to open the minds of the trainees to the possibilities in the industrial and commercial sectors. This Newton Fund programme will provide a pool of talented young people who have been inspired by astronomy to play a leading role in the emergence of new economies.
6th SKA African Partner Countries Meeting - partner countries were unanimous in their appreciation of the partnership opportunities, such as DARA.
DARA Success Story... UK-SA collaboration is developing STEM skills and improving economic opportunities through radio astronomy.
18 - 20 May 2020
The 2020 annual network meeting will take place in Muldersdrift near Johannesburg, South Africa. DARA invites its UK, SA and African partners to the meeting, together with the advanced training trainees and the 2019-20 basic training programme trainees.
3 - 15 November 2019
Technical University of Kenya
Eleven students attended the Unit 1 training in TUK Nairobi. To suit their differing backgrounds the course struck a balance between the essentials of astrophysics and an introduction to radio astronomy concepts.
1 - 12 July 2019
University of Zambia, Lusaka
The two-week workshop was split such that the students were introduced to the theory behind interferometry and to common software packages used in radio astronomy including CASA. During the second week, the students followed several tutorials to calibrate and image data from the EVN and e-MERLIN telescopes.
19 - 28 June 2019
The workshop was held at Eduardo Mondlane University (EMU), in Maputo, from June 19 to June 26, 2019. Sonia Anton from University of Aveiro in Portugal, Dalmiro Maia from the University of Porto in Portugal, and Pietro Zucca from ASTRON in the Netherlands.
7 January - 18 January 2019
University of Namibia
In January 2019, students from Botswana and Namibia attended the unit 1 training in Windhoek. The course was delivered by Prof Garret Cotter along with two PhD students, Mr Jamie Davies and Mr Sam Spencer. The local host was Dr Rhodri Evans of the University of Namibia.