Scientific and technological achievements have become commonplace. As remarkable as these achievements are for other regions of the world, enormous challenges and opportunities remain to be addressed in Africa. Although vital for development, Africa’s science, innovation, education and research infrastructure, particularly in fields such as Fundamental and Applied Physics, has been over the years under-valued and under-resourced. The vision is that Africa should take its equal place as a co-leader in the global scientific process, along with all the social-economic benefits thereto. The necessity of initiating ASFAP has become essential for Africa, hence our ambition and motivation to jump-start this process.
The full proposal of the African Strategy is accessible at Founding Document.
ASFAP was launched on November 18, 2020, during an online workshop organized jointly by the African Physical Society and the African Light Source.
The African Strategy is grateful for advice, endorsements and supports from international institutes and leading individuals in the field, in African and beyond. Details are mentioned here.
The structural organization consists of a SteeringCommittee that is advised by an InternationalAdvisoryCommittee (IAC), GroupConveners and sub-group conveners. The SteeringCommittee (STC) is made of professional scientists that are still active in their fields and well-connected to the international community. Members of the STC are Africans (from Africa and the diaspora)—they are the founding members of this historic and inaugural African Strategy. The STC will manage and coordinate the activities, and work and liaise with the InternationalAdvisoryCommittee until the final report that will serve as the African Strategy.
The IAC will advise the Steering Committee. Members of the IAC are from the worldwide community. The role of the IAC is to offer advice, suggestions and perspectives from their own strategies to inform the STC who will be responsible to guide the working groups toward a successful African Strategy.
The GroupConveners are experts in their domains, selected with particular attention to gender balance, geographical balance, and inclusion of non-African physicists. The group conveners are responsible to coordinate the activities within their groups, define relevant sub-groups in consultation with the STC, assist the subgroups, engage the other groups on common topics or issues, and work on the report of their group activity.
For fundamental and applied physics, we form working groups in these areas: Accelerators, Astrophysics & Cosmology, Computing & 4IR, Energy Instrumentation & Detectors, Light Sources, Materials Physics, Medical Physics, Nuclear Physics, Particle Physics, Atomic and Molecular Physics, Earth Science, Fluid and Plasma Physics, Optics and Photonics, and Theoretical and Applied Mechanics. Strategic capacity development, retention and research in the areas will play an important in the development of Africa.
The Physics groups may be subdivided into subgroups as necessary.
The Community Engagement group will aim to ensure a broader participation of African communities in the development of this Strategy. This group will discuss and address issues of physics education, communication and outreach, capacity development and retention, engagement with government and policymakers, and improvement of intra-African collaborations in physics education and research.
MILESTONES AND DELIVERABLES
A tentative timeline of milestones and deliverables is available here. It will be revised according to progress until the release of the final report.
The African Strategy will produce a report to inform the African and broader communities about the strategic directions likely to effect positive impacts in physics education and research in the next decade. This report should help African policymakers, educators, researchers, communities and international partners in national, regional and pan-African prioritization of educational and research resources and activities.
The African Strategy will produce a report to inform the African and international partners about the strategic directions likely to effect positive impacts in physics education and research in the next decade. The report will enhance the performance of education systems to achieve a sustainable future. It will mobilize Africans and serve as a roadmap on key initiatives.
The flagship initiatives set out in the ASFAP report will show how Africa can make decisive contributions in prioritizing education, scientific research and research infrastructure. This report also will help the African citizens, policymakers, educators and researchers to set ambitious agendas and mobilize efforts and efforts to achieve them.