South Africa, China Sign Agreement to Partner on Square Kilometre Array

China South Africa sign agreement for collaboration in SKA
Photo Credit:

South Africa’s International Relations, Minister Naledi Pandor, on Monday, June 24 signed a partnership agreement with Beijing on the sidelines of the ongoing China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Coordinators’ Meeting.

Pandor, who is leading the South African delegation to the Forum, held a bilateral meeting with her Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi (State Councillor and Minister of Foreign Affairs) in Beijing, prior to meeting with senior personnel from the Astronomy Institute of China.

The bilateral agreement serves as a working framework for the Chinese entities to partner with South Africa on the Square Kilometre Array project.

Commenting on the agreement, Pandor said: “What’s really important is for China to partner with South Africa and many other countries across the world in the Square Kilometre Array. The Astronomy Institute of China has signed the agreement, and it’s a commitment to fully participate in the process of building this mega radio telescope.”

“We are also going to see young people from South Africa coming to China for postgraduate studies in astronomy sciences, in astrophysics, in mathematics and engineering,” she added.

The bilateral agreement heralded the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the South African Radio Astronomy Observation (SARAO) and National Astronomical Observatory, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences in respect of the Radio Astronomy Research Exchange Programme.

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project is an international collaboration to build the world’s largest radio telescope, with eventually over a square kilometre (one million square metres) of collecting area. The project is an international collaboration between 13 national members, with Australia, South Africa and the UK as host countries

New Report: The African space economy is now worth USD 7 billion and is projected to grow at a 7.3% compound annual growth rate to exceed USD 10 billion by 2024. Read the executive summary of the African Space Industry Report - 2019 Edition to learn more about the industry. You can order the report online.

Every week, we feature the story of NewSpace companies in Africa, promoting their work and giving insight on how they are contributing to building the commercial space ecosystem in Africa. Would you like to be featured? Kindly complete this form.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.