SKA will empower Africa, says Nkoana-Mashabane

The shared hosting of the Square Kilometer Array telescope will empower the African continent - Minister

The site in the Karoo, where the SKA dishes would be built. Picture:

JOHANNESBURG - The shared hosting of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) telescope will empower the African continent, said Minister of International Relations Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.

Nkoana-Mashabane was addressing delegates at the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) conference on Saturday, in Johannesburg.

The SKA board announced on Friday, that the world's most powerful radio telescope will be shared by South Africa and Australia.

The minister said the project belongs to Africa.

"It positions our continent as an important player in the world of scientific research. Typical South Africa, we chose not to bid for this on our own."

Scientists are hopeful the project will provide answers on how the universe came to be, among other mysteries.

South Africa and Australia competed against each other for six years, to bid for the $2 billion project.

South Africa was named the preferred site and will have the biggest share of the project, as two-thirds of the SKA will be built in the country.

Australia's hub site will be the Mileura station, while South Africa's main site will be outside Carnarvon in the Karoo.