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.

Rhodes University RATT Postgraduate 2020 Bursaries 
Call for Applications

Closing date: 15 October 2019

Rhodes University invites high-flying students looking to get involved in
radio astronomy, MeerKAT and the Square Kilometre Array to apply.

Doctoral Program of the International Max Planck Research School for Astronomy & Cosmic Physics
Call for Applications
Closing date: 1 November 2019
Applications are invited for the doctoral program of the International Max Planck Research School for Astronomy & Cosmic Physics at the University of Heidelberg (IMPRS-HD) - starting summer/autumn 2020.
Basic Training Unit 4 in Zambia
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.

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Basic Training Unit 4 in Mozambique
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... 

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Basic Training Unit 1 in Namibia
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.

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Basic Training Unit 4 in Madagascar
1 - 12 July 2019

Institute and Observatory of Geophysics, Antananarivo

Delivered by Dr Sandra Etoka from the University of Manchester and Dr Zara Randriamanakoto from the South African Astronomical Observatory, the fourth unit of the training was held in the Institute and Observatory of Geophysics in Antananarivo from July 01 to July 12, 2019.


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Basic Training Unit 4 in Ghana

1 - 12 July 2019

Ghana Space Science and Technology Institute (GSSTI)

Ten students with an interest in physics and astronomy participated in the unit 4 training that took place at the Ghana Space Science and Technology Institute (GSSTI) in Ghana between 1st July and 12th July 2019. The unit was presented by trainers Dr James Chibueze (North West University, South Africa) and Katie Hesterly (University of Manchester, UK)...

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Annual Network Meeting 2016

South Africa