SKA SA participates in Expo 2017 in Astana, Kazakhstan
SARAO News #01 2017
SKA SA represents the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and South Africa at Expo 2017, currently underway in Astana, Kazakhstan until 10 September 2017.
Expo 2017, which kicked off on 10 June 2017, showcases 115 countries and 22 international organisations participating. While the theme of the Expo is Energy of the Future the expo presents an ideal opportunity to promote South Africa and the African continent’s involvement in the SKA.
It is expected that two million tourists will visit the exhibition, and the total number of visits will be about five million. It is planned that 85% of the total number of visitors will be citizens of Kazakhstan, and 15% – foreign nationals, most of which will come from the CIS countries and China. A significant number of tourists is also expected to arrive from Europe, Turkey and the United States.
The South African stand is located in the Africa Plaza, with neighbouring stands from 22 African countries. SKA SA partners with the DST and the South African Embassy in Kazakhstan in managing the exhibition stand to profile the SKA and South Africa on an international platform.
Other aspects of the exhibition includes profiling the Northern Cape as a tourist destination, with a focus on the SAN culture.
Tyrone van Balla, an Electronic Engineer in the Digital Backend Team at SKA, joined an SKA SA delegation attending opening week at Expo 2017.
“The experience to travel to Kazakhstan and attend Expo 2017 was phenomenal. My participation in Expo 2017 was to engage with the visitors on the SKA and our work in South Africa, which was an enriching interaction,” says Van Balla. “The country is definitely worth a visit. It is beautiful with friendly people and a well-organised Expo and fantastic amenities,” he continued.
The Africa Plaza at Expo 2017 was officially opened on Monday, 12 June 2017 by the South African Ambassador to Kazakhstan, Her Excellency KST Matthews and Ambassadors from other African countries, including Kenya, Morocco, Benin, Burkina Faso, the Central African Republic, the Gambia, Ghana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Yemen, Comoros, Lesotho, Liberia and Madagascar.
Ambassador Matthews has been appointed as the South African Commissioner at Expo 2017 and leads the South African presence at the Expo.
“This expo will go a long way for cross-pollination of knowledge exchange, information and friendship to ease the path for future energy,” said Ambassador Matthews.
SKA SA led the Mandela Day commemorations at the South African National Day celebrations on Tuesday, 18 July 2017 at Expo 2017.
SKA SA featured its African Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) Network (AVN) as part of the National Day celebrations, sharing information about the network of VLBI-capable radio telescopes on the African continent.
Ambassador KST Matthews with Ambassadors from other African countries at the opening of the Africa Plaza at Expo 2017.
Anita Loots, SKA SA Head – Office for Africa Planning in the Office of the Managing Director, visited Expo 2017 as part of the National Day celebrations held on 18 July 2017.
The Africa Plaza at Expo 2017 in Astana, Kazakhstan.
The South African stand in the Africa Plaza at Expo 2017 in Astana, Kazakhstan.
Last Updated on September 7, 2017