SA, Moz science ministers to discuss SKA

2011-04-12 19:38

Maputo - South Africa and Mozambique's science and technology ministers will meet this week to discuss the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope project, a spokesperson said on Tuesday.

Minister Naledi Pandor "will be visiting Mozambique on Thursday and Friday for a joint committee meeting with her counterpart in Mozambique," said the Department of Science and Technology (DST) ministerial spokesperson Lunga Ngqengelele.

Mozambique is one of nine countries in southern Africa that will take part in the project to build the world's largest and most sensitive radio telescope, which will cost €1.5bn.

South Africa and Australia are finalists to host the telescope.

"Mozambique will host some of the (satellite) dishes of the SKA," said Ngqengelele.

Besides meeting the Mozambican Science and Technology Minister Venancio Massingue, Pandor will visit the Maluana science site close to the Mozambican capital Maputo, where the dishes will be located.

A team of South African and Mozambican technicians will brief the ministers on the site's readiness.

Pandor will also visit the Institute for Agrarian Research, where the DST sponsored a R500 000 laboratory refurbishment in 2009.

The institute supports livestock farmers to improve food security in Mozambique, where high food prices sparked deadly riots in September last year.

The two countries last year financed a joint research fund of over R2m.