Status of Astronomy in Namibia

Astronomy plays a major role in the scientific landscape of Namibia and Southern Africa. Considerable progress has been achieved scientifically as well as in terms of human capacity development in the field. In all wavelength regimes accessible with ground-based instruments, the largest of those instruments are situated in Southern Africa: MeerKAT, the Southern African Large Telescope, and the High Energy Stereoscopic System. Because of the excellent observing conditions from Namibian soil, further large-scale projects such as the Cherenkov Telescope Array considered sites in Namibia and the Africa Millimetre Telescope will eventually be built there. Against this background, the current situation of astronomical research and education in Namibia is reviewed, focusing on optical, radio and gamma-ray astronomy and also including smaller scale projects. Further, the role of astronomy, with particular focus on developmental aspects in the African context is outlined and the progress in human capacity development is summarized.

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