African Physics Newsletter

Introducing the African Physics Newsletter

Read a note from APS CEO Kate P. Kirby introducing the new African Physics Newsletter, an online publication for and by the African physics community. Read the letter »

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Do you have a meeting or conference you'd like posted? Do you have news or articles you'd like to share with your colleagues? This is the initial launch of a newsletter by and for the African physics community. Look for more information soon on how to submit information to the newsletter and share your news with colleagues across the African continent.

Physics on the Move in Africa

By Dr. Sekazi K. Mtingwa (Principal Partner at TriSEED Consultants, LLC, North Carolina, USA)
The momentum in Africa is building for a number of physics initiatives.  Over the past twenty years, the groundwork has been laid for new organizations, collaborations, and large infrastructure projects, with many being launched successfully. Continue reading »

ICTP and Physics in Africa

By Prof. Joseph Niemela (Senior Scientist and Coordinator of Optics Activities, The Abdus Salam ICTP—UNESCO Category 1 Institute, Trieste, Italy)
It would be very difficult to discuss in all details the wide range of interactions between ICTP scientists and their African colleagues over the years, and to condense everything to numbers somehow does a disservice to the rewarding personal exchanges that have occurred. For ICTP, scientific collaboration on the African continent has always had a special focus, long before “Priority Africa” was established as one of two global priorities for UNESCO. Continue reading »

The International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) opens the first African partner institution in University of Rwanda, Kigali

Prof. George Amolo (Technical University of Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya), and Dr. O. Akin-Ojo (EAIFR - Kigali-Rwanda)
The International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), Trieste, Italy, has for more than 50 years championed the development of scientific capacity in the developing world. In the last few years and in its strategic plan for 2010 – 2014, one of its goals was to establish regional partner institutions. This has already been done with Brazil, Mexico, and Turkey. Most significantly, for the African continent is the recent opening of the first partner institution in Africa, located in Kigali, Rwanda. Continue reading »

Source: SARAO the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

First light in Africa: MeerKAT

Prof. Igle Gledhill (University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa)
"First light" is the first scientific observation by a new telescope and is a time of great excitement as a new instrument comes on line and, of course, as new astrophysics unfolds. The First Light image for the 64-dish telescope MeerKAT, the African precursor to the Square Kilometre Array Telescope, has recently been released. The centre of our galaxy lies in the constellation Sagittarius and is known to contain a supermassive black hole. Now we have the clearest images of this region that humans have ever seen. Continue reading »

Physics in CDTA

Dr. El-Hachemi Amara (Centre for Development of Advanced Technologies CDTA, Algeria)
Physics is a science firmly established in Algeria, where all the universities and university centers include physics departments. An entire faculty is dedicated to physics at the University of Science and Technology of Algiers (Houari Boumediene-USTHB), where hundreds of research professors specialize in its various fields. The Centre for Development of Advanced Technologies, better known as CDTA (Centre de Développement des Technologies Avancées), is among the leading research centers in Algeria. Continue reading »

General view of the National Institute of Laser Enhanced Science (NILES)

Twenty-five Years of Laser at Cairo University

Prof. Mohamed Abdel-Harith (National Institute of Laser Enhanced Science, Cairo University, Egypt)
In the present year, Cairo University celebrates the Silver Jubilee of the National Institute of Laser Enhanced Science (NILES), which was founded in the year 1994, in a new elegant and modern building in the main campus of the University of Cairo. At that time NILES was the 23rd education and research institute in the University. It is worth mentioning that the idea behind establishing NILES was to gather together high caliber scholars and experts under the umbrella of laser sciences and applications in a unique multidisciplinary institute for graduate studies. Hence, NILES is an institute for postgraduate studies and research offering studies for scientific degrees of Diplomas, M.Sc., and Ph.D. in different specialties of laser fundamentals and applications. Continue reading »

Computational Modeling and Materials Science in Kenya

Prof. George Amolo (Technical University of Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya)
Mentorship of graduate students and young upcoming faculty is crucial in this time and age to ensure continuity and achievements of goals that require longer time scales to be accomplished. In 2007, the Computational Modeling Science Group (CMSG) was located at the Chepkoilel Campus of the Moi University, in Kenya and later at the University of Eldoret. Having stayed in South Africa for about 10 years and knowing well that I was coming back to Kenya, where the state-of-the-art experimental infrastructure was limited, I and several colleagues started doing computational modeling to support experimental research and to develop computational scientific skills as indispensable tools in modern research. Continue reading »

The Rising Burden of Cancer in Ghana: A Wake-up Call

Dr. Francis Hasford (2016 Recipient of the IUPAP Young Scientist Award in Medical Physics, Radiological and Medical Sciences Research Institute, Ghana Atomic Energy Commission)
Cancer is a major public health problem worldwide and Ghana has not been spared of this ever growing health canker, which falls under target 3 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 3). In Ghana, the most dominant cancers reported in females are breast and cervical cancers, while for males prostate and head and neck cancers dominate. The Ministry of Health in Ghana launched a 5-year National Cancer Control Strategy in 2011 to address the four key components of cancer control: cancer prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment, and palliation. However, Ghana has been faced with significant challenges in each of these components. Continue reading »

Materials Science and Solar Energy Network for Eastern and Southern Africa (MSSEESA)

Prof. George Amolo (Technical University of Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya), and Prof. B. O. Aduda (College of Biological and Physical Sciences, University of Nairobi, Kenya)
Recent years have seen a tremendous development in materials science giving rise to a wide range of new materials, fine tuning or re-engineering of existing ones. This rapid development has in turn resulted in many new applications in diverse fields such as solar energy, medicine, engineering, electronics, smart fabrics, etc. Accelerated developments in materials science and emergence of new applications can be ascribed to high level of research activities in this area. It is without doubt that this has not only had varied positive impacts but also challenges, for example the disposal of materials wastes and used ones. Continue reading »

The African Science and Technology Budget

Prof. Igle Gledhill (University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa)
The African Union target of 1% of Gross Domestic Product for the Science and Technology budget in each member state has not been reached, except in very few of the 54 countries in Africa. Basic Sciences, including Physics, support human capital development, knowledge generation, and the building of research capacities, all of which contribute to vital economic development. Expanded International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) membership in Africa is desirable in terms of the IUPAP mandate of fostering the worldwide development of physics, international cooperation, and the application of physics toward solving problems of concern to humanity. Continue reading »

Africa and the Gender Gap Project

Prof. Igle Gledhill (University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa)
The participation of women in many fields of science remains a subject of concern worldwide. The International Science Council has funded a project on "A Global Approach to the Gender Gap in Mathematical, Computing, and Natural Sciences: How to Measure It, How to Reduce it?". The objectives of the project are to provide evidence on which interventions can be based, and to make available material on best practice that has been proven by test. The Global Survey of Mathematical, Computing, and Natural Scientists will provide comparisons between disciplines, answering some persistent questions about why one discipline is more attractive than another to women. Continue reading »

The African School of Fundamental Physics and Applications (ASP)

Dr. Kétévi A. Assamagan (Brookhaven National Laboratory, New York, USA)
The ASP is a school of fundamental and applied physics held in different African countries. It has evolved into a program of actions with directed ethos toward physics as an engine for development in Africa. The scientific program includes: a three-week intensive summer school for university students with a minimum of three-year university education in math, physics, engineering or computer science; a one-week workshop to train high school teachers; a one-week outreach to secondary schools; a one-week international conference on fundamental physics and applications; and a continuous mentorship to students even when there is no school. Continue reading »

The first-ever NANOSMAT conference on nanoscience and nanotechnology

The International Nanostructured Materials-Africa Conference (Cape Town, South Africa – December 2018)

Prof. Malik Maaza (iThemba LABS-National Research Foundation, South Africa)
The first-ever NANOSMAT conference on nanoscience and nanotechnology to be held in Africa (NANOSMAT-Africa) got off to an excellent start on Monday 19 December 2018 with approximately 300 delegates from all over the world gathering at the iconic Lord Charles Hotel in Somerset West near Cape Town up to 23 December 2018. Continue reading »

Editorial Board
  • Editor in Chief: Prof. M. Zghal (University of Carthage, Tunis, Tunisia)
  • Prof. I. Gledhill (University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa)
  • Prof. G. Amolo (Technical University of Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya)
  • Prof. S. K. Danuor (Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana)
Oversight Board
  • Prof. N. Chetty (University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa) Vice President, IUPAP
  • Dr. J. E. Gubernatis (Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico, USA) Member, Committee on International Scientific Affairs, American Physical Society
  • Prof. A. Wagué (Dakar Cheikh Anta Diop University, Dakar, Sénégal) International Councilor, American Physical Society
For more information, you may contact Dr. J. E. Gubernatis (, the chair of the newsletter's Oversight Board.
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