The Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) and DARA Big Data (Development in Africa through Radio Astronomy) in partnership with the Inter-University Institute For DataIntensive Astronomy (IDiA) will  be organizing a number of Big Data Hackathons in Africa. The hackathons are part of a multi-year program, led by OAD-DARA Big Data Fellow Dr. Nikhita Madanpall, which aims to develop data science, programming and related skills in Africa in the context of huge radio astronomy projects. More information

Hackathon #1

The first hackathon was held at the University of Zambia and coordinated virtually on Sep 30 – Oct 01. More information

Hackathon #2

The second hackathon was organized from December 1st – December 3rd in collaboration with the Development in Africa with Radio Astronomy (DARA) Big Data, the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC), and the Inter-university Institute for Data Intensive Astronomy (IDiA).

More information

Hackathon #3

the third hackathon will be organized 16-18 February at the Eduardo Mondlane University (UEM) in Mozambique. The project involves the use of optical satellite imagery (from the Sentinel-2 satellite) to locate and monitor areas of flooding after a hurricane or cyclone. The event will be run in Portuguese.

Dr. Nikhita Madhanpall,
OAD-DARA Big Data Fellow,
nikhita (at)

DARA Big Data is a Newton Fund project that provides students from the 8 SKA African partner countries with skills in the field of data science and machine learning.

The Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) is a joint project of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) and the South African National Research Foundation (NRF) with the support of the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI). The mission of the OAD is to help further the use of astronomy, including its practitioners, skills and infrastructures, as a tool for development.

The Space Generation Advisory Council in Support of the United Nations Programme on Space Applications is a global non-governmental, non-profit (US 501(c)3) organisation and network which aims to represent university students and young space professionals ages 18-35 to the United Nations, space agencies, industry, and academia. Headquartered in Vienna, Austria, the SGAC network of members, volunteers and alumni has grown to more than 15 000 members representing more than 150 countries.

The Inter-University Institute For Data Intensive Astronomy (IDIA) aims to build the capacity and expertise in data intensive research within the South African university research community and enable global leadership on MeerKAT large survey science projects.