NMU hosts first Biennial Conference on Fundamental and Applied Physics

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Africa’s leading science scholars and academics have gathered in George in the Western Cape for the biennial African Conference on Fundamental and Applied Physics.

The week-long event is being hosted by the George campus of the Nelson Mandela University. The conference will see a host of topics being unpacked, ranging from medical, nuclear and radiation physics; renewable energies; diversity; equity; and 100 years of physics in Africa for the future.

Delegates came from Africa and the rest of the world. They’re here to discuss the latest trends around physics. For NMU, it’s an honour to play host to some of the worlds greatest minds.

“It’s a conference of African scholars, international scholars and students who have converged in George to discuss the latest developments in physics. But more important physics which is Africa focused for Africa’s development,” says Professor Azwinndini Muronga, the Executive Dean of Science at NMU.

One of the things that most delegates agreed on, was that science and physics need to be developed more on the continent. Dr. Diallo Boye is a Senegalese-born physicist who’s completing his post-doctorate studies in New York. Boye works in Switzerland doing research on particle physics.

“Science, especially physics is not well developed in Africa. So we have more or less only countries such as South Africa, Morocco and Egypt where this field is taught. In Senegal where I’m from, we don’t have high physics”.

Morroccan physicists, Drs. Mounia Laassiri and Sanae Samsam, agree with Boye. Both women are also completing their post doctorate studies abroad. They say there’s also a lack of women in the field.

“I mean women represent less than 30% so its an occasion to push more women, especially the young girls to start thinking about physics. Another point is that we are moving outside of Africa because of gaining more experience. But being inside this community we want to take as much experience as we can so that we can go back to our original countries. For example, we want to develop the first African light source.”

The delegates aim to have robust discussions throughout the week. The conference ends this Saturday.

Physics Conference | Africa’s top scientists convene in George: