SKA Presentation in Rome
Ms. Marigrazia Biancospino, Minister Grace Naledi Pantor, Ambassador Thenjiwe Mtintso and Dr. Bernie Fanaroff at the SKA presentation in Rome
On 25 January 2012, on the occasion of the visit to Italy by the Minister of Science and Technology, Ms. Grace Naledi Pandor, Ambassador Thenjiwe Mtintso hosted a presentation in Rome on South Africa’s bid to host the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). In November 2011 Italy became a member of the SKA Organisation, an independent, not-for-profit company established to formalise relationships with international partners and centralise the leadership of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) telescope project.
South Africa is leading an African bid to host the SKA, with the core site in South Africa's Northern Cape region and with outstations in Namibia, Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique and Zambia.
The presentation was attended by a large cross-section of African ambassadors accredited to Italy and Permanent Representatives to the Rome-based UN-food agencies, as well as key Italian academics, business people, journalists and practitioners in the field of astrophysics. Minister Pandor was also joined at the presentation by Dr. Bernie Fanaroff, the Director of the South African SKA bid, who gave an in-depth presentation of the technical and scientific aspects of the bid proposal, as well as by Ms. Mariagrazia Biancospino, the Secretary-General of the Italian-South African Chamber of Trade and Industries, who provided a business perspective of trade and investment opportunities in South Africa and Africa, especially also as they relate to a potential African SKA.
The very successful SKA presentation followed the previous day’s interactions on the SKA bid by Minister Pandor with her Italian counterpart, as well as representatives from the Italian business and astronomy community. Minister Pandor also found some time to visit the Chancery and to engage with all transferred staff and LRPs on developments in South Africa and Italy.
Ambassador Thenjiwe Mtintso and Minister Pandor following the SKA presentation
Minister Pandor meeting the staff of the SA Embassy in Rome